Class-action plaintiffs were exposed to high levels of formaldehyde from pressed wood products.

It was supposed to be a relief effort – but the trailer homes made available to hurricane Katrina and Rita victims turned out to release harmful chemical fumes.

Government tests on hundreds of trailers found formaldehyde levels that were, on average, five times higher than what people are exposed to in most modern homes.

Formaldehyde, used to manufacture many building materials, can irritate the skin, eyes, nose and throat. High exposure levels may also cause cancer.

A class-action settlement is asking about two dozen companies to pay a total of $37.5 million to resolve claims.

Four large manufacturers – Gulf Stream Coach Inc., Forest River Inc., Jayco Inc. and Monaco Coach Corp. – already agreed to pay about $22.7 million of the total amount.

The money will be distributed among 60,000 plaintiffs from Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and Mississippi, if they qualify.

The trailers were made with a lot of pressed wood products (particleboard and plywood), which were the main source of the indoor air pollution. The temporary homes also did not provide adequate ventilation, the lawsuit claimed.

A previous CDC study showed average formaldehyde levels in trailers and mobile homes was about 77 parts per billion — high enough to raise the odds of cancer and respiratory diseases.

Source: Star-Telegram

Air cleaners to remove formaldehyde and other chemicals

Formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can affect people’s health and well-being, but many workers and homeowners are still exposed to high levels of fumes.

A portable air cleaner with a deep-bed activated carbon (activated charcoal) filter can help remove those airborne chemicals and odors.

Electrocorp has designed a wide range of units and sizes provide the most fitting solution for virtually any indoor air quality concern.

Contact Electrocorp for more information and options.

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