More FEMA Trailers Test Positive for Formaldehyde

LITTLE ROCK, AR - Three mobile homes set aside by federal officials for tornado victims in Arkansas have formaldehyde levels rivaling that of housing deemed unsafe for victims of 2005 hurricanes on the Gulf Coast.

Test results of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, obtained by The Associated Press, show about half of the mobile homes tested have formaldehyde levels higher than the average home.

Three of the 32 mobile homes tested from among the thousands stored at the Hope Municipal Airport have levels high enough to put possible residents at an increased risk of cancer and respiratory illnesses.

FEMA is offering some of the more than 7,500 mobile homes it has stored at the Hope airport to those states where tornadoes hit February 5.  Contractors begin testing the trailers stored there for formaldehyde in March.

FEMA said it would leave the decision on what levels of formaldehyde would be acceptable to the states receiving the homes because there is no federal limit.  Governor Beebe has said he would leave the final decision to those who would be living in the mobile homes.

The governor plans to meet tomorrow with advisers to discuss whether the state should accept the mobile homes.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)