At 10:00 a.m. the Oversight Committee (held) a hearing, "FEMA's Response to Reports of Toxic Trailers." The Committee will hold a hearing investigating formaldehyde levels in FEMA trailers provided for victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes and FEMA's response to these reports. The Committee will hear from current residents occupying FEMA trailers, experts who are familiar with the health impact of formaldehyde, and from FEMA Administrator Paulison. Formaldehyde is a chemical used in paint and adhesives, and is classified as a "known carcinogen" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Reports of high formaldehyde levels found in FEMA issued trailers and FEMA's response raise serious public health concerns. Supplemental Memo and Exhibits
Waxman: "Another FEMA official wrote, the office of general counsel has advised ‘We do not do testing, because it would imply FEMA's ownership of this issue.' Early in the process, due to the perseverance of a pregnant mother with a four month old child, FEMA did test one occupied trailer. The results showed that their trailer had formaldehyde levels 75 times higher than the maximum workplace exposure levels recommended by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. The mother evacuated the trailer. FEMA then stopped testing other trailers."