Higher than average formaldehyde levels in FEMA trailers sent to tornado victims


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Tornado victims in Tennessee this week began receiving some of the first mobile homes that have been tested for formaldehyde after concerns over unsafe levels.

Tennessee has accepted 37 homes that tested at or below 40 parts per billion of formaldehyde.

Average indoor air levels of formaldehyde measure between 10 and 20 parts per billion, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Because there are no federal standards set for formaldehyde exposure, state officials in Tennessee and elsewhere must determine the levels they find acceptable.

Jeremy Heidt, a spokesman for Tennessee Emergency Management Agency, said the state decided to cap the formaldehyde level based on consultation with the state health and environmental departments, along with Gov. Phil Bredesen's office.

About 50 mobile homes will be coming from Selma, Ala., to house victims of the Feb. 5 storms that killed 33 people in Tennessee.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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