Makers Knew Katrina FEMA Trailers Were Tainted
Employees working on the tainted FEMA trailers issued to victims of Hurricane Katrina were suffering from nose bleeds, dizziness and bleeding ears, all effects of formaldehyde exposure - months before they sold them.
A new report by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is split between the Democrats and Republicans on the Committee. The Dems say the company knew about the exposure, the Reps think they didn't.
Gulf Stream Coach, Inc.'s employees admitted they were suffering from formaldehyde exposure symptoms before the trailers were sent to Katrina victims. The contracts were worth over $500 million.
The Committee Chairman said the Democrats' investigation found that the company did test the trailers, but treated the results as a public relations liability, not a health hazard.
Manufacturers say they are not responsible for FEMA trailers that had toxic levels of formaldehyde, despite Democrats' findings that companies knew about the dangers yet sold them to the government anyway after Hurricane Katrina.
The report by Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee is at odds with an analysis done by Republican staffers on the same committee. The Republican report backs the companies and found that trailer manufacturers should not be held accountable for the high levels of formaldehyde — a preservative commonly used in building materials — in trailers that the Federal Emergency Management Agency set up to house people displaced by Katrina in 2005. Republicans say it is the government's fault for not having standards for safe levels of formaldehyde in trailers.