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Formaldehyde Exposure May Result in $14.8 Million Settlement

Mon, 23 Apr 2012 11:37:37 EST

Last week, it was announced that 21 mobile home manufacturers have agreed to pay $14,800,000 to thousands of people who stayed in trailers provided by FEMA following hurricanes Rita and Katrina.  Lawyers for the people who stayed in the trailers have filed a preliminary settlement in federal court asking the judge to approve it.
 
Both sides filed a memorandum with the courts stating, 'Approving this settlement will end the excessive bleeding of costs by both sides in litigation."  The total number of claims is expected to be between 10,000 and 20,000.
 
People who had lived in the trailers complained of respiratory illnesses and more serious conditions.  Exposure to formaldehyde does not take place in just trailers.  Homes, schools, offices and manufacturing plants all have the potential to have high levels of formaldehyde.  This is due to its use in building materials, home furnishings, and consumer products as well as being a common industrial chemical used in many manufacturing processes.
 
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 'Formaldehyde is a colorless, strong-smelling gas often found in aqueous (water-based) solutions. Commonly used as a preservative in medical laboratories and mortuaries, formaldehyde is also found in many products such as chemicals, particle board, household products, glues, permanent press fabrics, paper product coatings, fiberboard, and plywood. It is also widely used as an industrial fungicide, germicide and disinfectant.'
 
Formaldehyde is a sensitizing agent that can cause an immune system response upon initial exposure. It is also a cancer hazard. Acute exposure is highly irritating to the eyes, nose, and throat and can make people exposed cough and wheeze. Subsequent exposures may cause severe allergic reactions of the skin, eyes and respiratory tract.
 
'Testing the air in indoor environments is the only way to know what levels of formaldehyde people are being exposed to,' reported Bruce Jacobs, CIH, President of IAQ Index, an indoor air quality and formaldehyde test kit manufacturer.  'IAQ Index has developed an easy to use air testing kit that can identify formaldehyde and other air contaminants to help people ensure the air they breathe is safe.' 
 
To learn more about testing for formaldehyde or other IAQ contaminants, please visit IAQ Index at http://www.IAQIndex.com, email info@IAQIndex.com or call (888) 259-3883.
 
About IAQ Index
IAQ Index was developed by a Certified Industrial Hygienist with decades of experience dealing with indoor air quality issues.  IAQ Index was developed as a health-based, easy-to-understand, air quality index that is calculated from data generated for various parameters commonly measured during IAQ surveys.  The approach is similar to the EPA's Air Quality Index that has been used historically to communicate the risks posed by common pollutants in the ambient air.


Source: WebWire



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