It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
(visit the link for the full news article)
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) badly mishandled its response to the discovery of formaldehyde in trailers used as temporary housing by victims of Hurricane Katrina and must enact improved policies and procedures for dealing with such health concerns quickly, declared the inspector general (IG) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Thursday.
FEMA "did not take sufficiently prompt and effective action to determine the extent of the formaldehyde problem in the emergency housing units once they were aware that such a problem might exist. FEMA officials let nearly a year pass while working with other agencies to analyze which of two methods for reducing formaldehyde levels in never-occupied units was most effective," said the IG report, titled "FEMA Response to Formaldehyde in Trailers."
The report, which was redacted in part to maintain the secrecy of internal FEMA e-mails, observed that FEMA learned that ventilating the trailers was more effective than controlling temperature within them to reduce the levels of formaldehyde after a year. However, both methods were effective and that information already was widely known by FEMA leadership before they analyzed the problem.
About a third of the trailers distributed to victims of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita had potentially dangerous levels of formaldehyde, the report estimated, exposing the residents of more than 25,000 trailers to possible health risks.
"In general, in our opinion, FEMA did not display a degree of urgency in reacting to the reported formaldehyde problem, a problem that could pose a significant health risk to people who were relying on FEMA's programs," the report concluded.