Four of the six most commonly used brands of trailers supplied by FEMA for Gulf Coast hurricane victims are among those brands with the highest formaldehyde levels, according to a recent study by the U. S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Air samples from trailers made by Gulf Stream, Keystone, Pilgrim and Forest River contained more than four times the formaldehyde levels that are found in newer U. S. homes, according to the study.
The study is the first brand-specific information provided about formaldehyde levels in the tens of thousands of travel trailers and other temporary homes that hurricane victims have been living in since Katrina and Rita hit in 2005.
The CDC found average levels of 77 parts formaldehyde per billion parts of air in these models, significantly higher than the 10 to 17 parts per billion concentrations seen in newer homes. Some levels were as high was 590 parts per billion.
The Associated Press reported that in the latest report the CDC found an average level of 108 parts per billion in Pilgrim-brand travel trailers, 103 in trailers made by Gulf Stream, 102 in those made by Keystone, and 85 in those made by Forest River.
Since the testing was done during the winter months, when the temperatures are at the coldest, the levels found are likely to be the lowest results. As the weather warms towards summer, more formaldehyde is given off and accordingly these formaldehyde levels may rise significantly.