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National Briefing / Louisiana

FEMA faulted on trailer response

July 24, 2009|TIMES WIRE REPORTS

The Federal Emergency Management Agency took too long to respond to reports of dangerous levels of formaldehyde in trailers delivered to victims of 2005 Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, exposing people along the Gulf Coast to possible health risks, the Homeland Security Department inspector general reported.

The report marked a stinging reprimand of FEMA and its slow response to reports in 2006 that air in some trailers registered dangerously high levels of formaldehyde, which can cause cancer and respiratory illness.

The report said about a third of the 203,000 FEMA trailers were affected.

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