The Federal Emergency Management Agency confirmed Wednesday that it has temporarily suspended the deployment and sale of travel trailers used as emergency housing while the agency works with health and environmental experts to assess health-related concerns raised by occupants.
Industrial hygienists, epidemiologists, medical toxicologists and environmental health scientists from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Environmental Protection Agency, Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Homeland Security's Office of Health Affairs are in Louisiana and Mississippi to gather data and review measurements that consider relative humidity, trailer design and usage. Because formaldehyde is commonly used in building materials, and is prevalent in the environment, the experts have been asked to identify an acceptable air quality level of formaldehyde.
The review will also consider air quality conditions in travel trailers when they are used for prolonged periods and identify means to reduce indoor air levels of formaldehyde.
While the initial reviews are under way FEMA will temporarily suspend the installation, sale, transfer or donation of travel trailers or park model recreational vehicles currently in its inventory, according to a release issued Wednesday.
FEMA may continue to install other types of federally regulated manufactured housing for eligible disaster victims, such as mobile homes that meet or exceed industry standards and are designed for long-term habitation.
FEMA will continue to move residents out of temporary housing and into long-term housing solutions.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.