WASHINGTON, April 11 (UPI) -- The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency Friday announced regulations limiting the amount of formaldehyde allowed in mobile homes for disaster victims.
FEMA said the new rules require mobile home manufacturers to keep formaldehyde levels at .016 parts per million, an amount the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers to be within the range of normal indoor air, the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger reported.
"There is no national standard for formaldehyde levels in American homes; not conventional stick-built homes, not manufactured homes," said FEMA Administrator David Paulison. "Until such a time as there is a consensus standard, we will take extraordinary precautions and require that all new-production units that FEMA purchases test below the lowest existing 'standard' and below the midpoint of the range that CDC calls 'typical' for conventional homes."
The new requirements come after widespread criticism of FEMA that followed a CDC determination that trailers the agency provided for Hurricane Katrina victims contained high levels of formaldehyde, a compound found in glues, particle boards and other construction materials that has been tied to a number of medical ailments and is suspected to be a carcinogen.