The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

FEMA Officials Finally Nailed for Providing Deadly Trailers

Mar 3, 2008

Thousands of people living in trailers supplied by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) have had headaches, watery or burning eyes and throat, running noses, nose bleeds and chronic respiratory problems that were caused by formaldehyde out-gassing from materials used in the trailers. Some may develop cancer.

When people started reporting symptoms of formaldehyde poisoning shortly after the first families moved in, FEMA denied that anything was wrong. The environmental Sierra Club did respond to people’s complaints, however, and carried out tests showing the big majority of the trailers had dangerous levels of formaldehyde gas in them.

What did FEMA do? It set up a rigged test of unoccupied trailers it aired out for days beforehand–in order to pretend the trailers were safe.

Finally this past December, a court suit forced FEMA to have tests done on a sample of 519 trailers actually in use. The results show formaldehyde exposure in the trailers is FIVE times the average in modern homes. Some trailers tested at 40 times the norm!

FEMA now says it will move everyone out of its dangerous trailers as quickly as possible. But how quickly is “as quickly as possible”?

This is the same FEMA that took days to even “discover” that there were many thousands of people stranded in increasingly desperate conditions in the New Orleans Superdome and Convention Center after Hurricane Katrina struck. Everyone else in the country had been watching the growing misery of those stranded on television every day.

“Quick,” in FEMA’s dictionary, is only another way to say “Never”!