We Hid It. So? | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

We Hid It. So?


A U.S. congressional investigation by a House Science and Technology subcommittee revealed what many FEMA trailer residents have known for years—FEMA was hiding its knowledge of the incredible toxicity level of formaldehyde in FEMA trailer building material.

The Congressional Investigations and Oversight Subcommittee joined with the Energy and Environment Subcommittee to demand answers from Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff on why FEMA and the Centers for Disease Control tried to conceal the results of a health guidance report on formaldehyde-laced FEMA trailers.

Subcommittee Chairman Brad Miller and Nick Lampson sent a letter to Chertoff asking why FEMA needed the CDC to hide evidence of formaldehyde damage and another letter to CDC demanding why they complied with FEMA's wish.

"Documents obtained recently by the Committee make us question whether you used 'best science' or provided 'trusted health information' to some of the nation's most vulnerable citizens, or just provided the evaluation that FEMA preferred," Miller and Lampson wrote in the letter to CDC.

Chemical tests financed by the Mississippi chapter of the Sierra Club in 2006 and 2007 revealed high formaldehyde levels in trailers. Trailer occupants like Lindsey Huckabee, of Kiln, Miss., reported lung problems and nosebleeds to the JFP last year.

Mississippi Chapter Sierra Club Chairman Howard Page said he was surprised that FEMA department heads had delivered no resignations over the information lockdown.

"Normally they resign to shield their boss, since they serve at the will and pleasure of the executive, and when you mis-perform at that level, it's typical politics that you fall on your sword."

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