EPA: Formaldehyde can cause cancer

By Jonathan Tilove
June 02, 2010

WASHINGTON – The EPA has concluded that formaldehyde is carcinogenic when inhaled by humans. Public concern about the substance grew dramatically in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when many people living in FEMA trailers after the storm reported respiratory and other health problems from prolonged exposure to formaldehyde.

“There is sufficient evidence of a causal relationship between formaldehyde exposure and cancers of the upper respiratory tracts, with the strongest evidence for nasopharyngeal and sino-nasal cancers,” the draft assessment made public on Wednesday concludes. “There is also sufficient evidence of a causal association between formaldehyde exposure and lymphohematopoietic cancers, with the strongest evidence of Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia, particularly myleloid leukemia.

The 1,043-page draft also identifies seven other non-cancer health effects from formaldehyde inhalation. They are: “1) sensory irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat, 2) upper respiratory tract pathology, 3) pulmonary function, 4)asthma and atopy, 5) neurologic and behavioral toxicity, 6) reproductive and developmental toxicity, and 7) immunological toxicity.”

EPA notes that “formaldehyde is present in a wide variety of products including some plywood adhesives, abrasive materials, insulation, insecticides and embalming fluids. The major sources of anthropogenic emissions of formaldehyde are motor vehicle exhaust, power plants, manufacturing plants that produce or use formaldehyde or substances that contain it (i.e. glues), petroleum refineries, coking operations, incinerating, wood burning and tobacco smoke.”

The draft assessment released Wednesday is the result of a process that began in 1990.

“If this had taken even `only’  ten years to develop regulations, the 120,000-plus families housed in FEMA trailers wouldn’t have had to deal with illnesses from formaldehyde exposure in addition to trying to recover from losing everything in the hurricanes,” Becky Gillette, of Eureka Springs, Ark., formaldehyde campaign director for the Sierra Club, said Wednesday.

The EPA draft is now subject to 90 days of public comment and will also be peer reviewed by an expert panel convened by the National Academy of Sciences, which will have nine months to return its evaluation of the draft to EPA.

That panel is chaired by Jonathan Samet, a pulmonary physician and epidemiologist, who is a professor at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. The vice chair is Andrew Olshan, chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health.

The National Academy panel will hold its first meeting on Monday in Washington. It is open to the public.

nola.com

Formaldehyde causes cancer, EPA declares

By Jonathan Tilove
June 03, 2010

WASHINGTON — The EPA has concluded that formaldehyde is carcinogenic when inhaled by humans, a finding that could lead to stringent new regulations of the widely used chemical.

Used in the production of countless consumer products, formaldehyde attained a degree of national infamy after Hurricane Katrina when some of those living in the 120,000 trailers provided by FEMA as temporary housing for storm victims reported respiratory and other health problems after prolonged exposure to the chemical, which is contained in wood products in the trailers.

The EPA’s draft assessment of the health perils of formaldehyde, released Wednesday, is now subject to 90 days of public comment and a nine-month peer review by a panel of the National Academy of Sciences, on its way likely to forming the basis for new regulation of formaldehyde levels in myriad products.

“There is sufficient evidence of a causal relationship between formaldehyde exposure and cancers of the upper respiratory tracts, with the strongest evidence for nasopharyngeal and sino-nasal cancers,” the 1,043-page draft assessment concludes. “There is also sufficient evidence of a causal association between formaldehyde exposure and lymphohematopoietic cancers, with the strongest evidence of Hodgkin lymphoma and leukemia, particularly myleloid leukemia.”

The EPA document also identifies seven other non-cancer health effects from formaldehyde inhalation: sensory irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat; upper respiratory tract pathology; pulmonary function; asthma and atopy; neurologic and behavioral toxicity; reproductive and developmental toxicity; and immunological toxicity.

Betsy Natz, executive of the Formaldehyde Council, representing leading formaldehyde producers and users in the United States, took issue with EPA’s findings, contending that there is not a demonstrable link between formaldehyde and leukemia, or a causal link with nasopharyngeal and sino-nasal cancers.

“Any regulatory decision based on incomplete information could cause significant harm to an industry that supplies so many products critical to the home and commercial building, automotive and aerospace industries, as well as defense-related applications and vaccines used worldwide to prevent polio, cholera, diphtheria and other major diseases,” Natz said.

But Becky Gillette of Eureka Springs, Ark., formaldehyde campaign director for the Sierra Club, said the pity of Wednesday’s development was that it was so long in coming.

According to the EPA’s chronology, the process that led to its draft assessment began in 1990.

“If this had taken even ‘only’ 10 years to develop regulations, the 120,000-plus families housed in FEMA trailers wouldn’t have had to deal with illnesses from formaldehyde exposure in addition to trying to recover from losing everything in the hurricanes,” Gillette said.

While the FEMA trailers called attention to the presence of formaldehyde in wood products, EPA identified the major source of formaldehyde emissions as motor vehicle exhaust, manufacturing plants, power plants, petroleum refineries, coking operations, incinerating, wood burning and tobacco smoke.

The National Academy panel will hold its first meeting on the draft assessment Monday in Washington. The panel is led by Jonathan Samet, a pulmonary physician and epidemiologist, who is a professor at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. The vice chairman is Andrew Olshan, chairman of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health.

The new formaldehyde assessment comes as both the House and Senate appear poised to enact legislation, perhaps this month, setting new national standards for formaldehyde levels in composite wood products on a par with those established two years ago by the state of California. That legislation, backed by the Composite Panel Association and other wood industry groups, was reported out of the House Energy Committee last week on a 27-10 vote that included the support of both Reps. Charlie Melancon, D-Napoleonville, and Steve Scalise, R-Jefferson, one of three Republicans on the committee to vote yes.

nola.com

How Senator Vitter Battled the EPA Over Formaldehyde’s Link to Cancer

FEMA trailer safety debated by Congress as public sale continues – “…consensus on the committee seemed to be leaning heavily toward “environmental time bombs,”…

Dr. Corey Hebert Testifies Before Congress On Safety Of FEMA Trailers – Dr. Hebert has worked tirelessly to inform the public of the dangers of formaldehyde exposure in high concentrations in FEMA issued trailers

FEMA Using US Chamber Fraud in Katrina Trailer Litigation; EPA, GAO & Both Isle$ of Congre$$ Turn Blind Eye$

Toxic Trailors.com – Toxic Court (Louisiana) stacks deck against formaldehyde victims

New Orleans family loses FEMA trailer suit & Why CDC Responded With ‘Lack of Urgency’ to Formaldehyde Warnings – top government officials worried about lawsuits from the beginning

Idiots in Louisiana Auctioning (Livingston-based Henderson Auctions) 400 FEMA Trailers bought from the U.S. General Services Administration & The Advocate – WBRZ News 2 is there & mentions absolutely nothing of the controversy (katrina) & health risks!!!

Video – Katrina cottages from Mississippi – flooded during Gustav & Ike – to be auctioned in Louisiana – warnings of mold

The high cost of FEMA’s learning curve

Children from FEMA Trailers Battle Serious Health Problems

International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) confirms link between formaldehyde and leukemia

TRUTH OUT Sharon Kramer Letter To Andrew Saxon MOLD ISSUE

Action Group Asks U of CA To Take Name Off US Chamber Medico-Legal Publication

Regents of the University of California acknowledge imprimatur on 2003 US Chamber of Commerce medico-legal publication

National Apartment Association Tells Its Members MOLD CAUSES DEATH; Tells Courts It Doesn’t With The Help of US Chamber and UCLA

New Action Committee – ACHEMMIC- Urges Transparency in EPA Policy Over Mold & Microbial Contaminants

Truth About Mold – the most up to date, accurate, and reliable information on Toxic Mold

Sociological Issues Relating to Mold: The Mold Wars

Certain Corporate and Government Interests Have Spent Huge Sums of Money and Resources DENYING THE TRUTH about the HEALTH EFFECTS of TOXIC MOLD

Political Action Committee – National Apartment Association (NAA) files Amicus Brief in mold case (two infant deaths in mold filled apt – Wasatch Prop Mgmt) citing US Chamber/ACOEM ‘litigation defense report’ to disclaim health effects of indoor mold & limit financial risk for industry

“Changes in construction methods have caused US buildings to become perfect petri dishes for mold and bacteria to flourish when water is added. Instead of warning the public and teaching physicians that the buildings were causing illness; in 2003 the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform, a think-tank, and a workers comp physician trade organization mass marketed an unscientific nonsequitor to the courts to disclaim the adverse health effects to stave off liability for financial stakeholders of moldy buildings. Although publicly exposed many times over the years, the deceit lingers in US courts to this very day.” Sharon Noonan Kramer

Information about Riverstone Residential, the Louisiana Housing Finance Agency, and the owners of Jefferson Lakes Apartments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana allowing tenants to be exposed to extreme amounts of toxins from molds by intentionally concealing evidence

Irrefutable evidence indicates that Riverstone Residential, Guarantee Service Team of Professionals, & plaintiffs’ attorney, J Arthur Smith III, must have agreed to exclude evidence that would have shown the owners of Jefferson Lakes Apartments & Riverstone Residential had knowledge of the severe MOLD INFESTATION at the complex before we moved in

Riverstone Residential Litigation

Mold Inspection Reports

Photos of Mold in Apartment

Attorney Malpractice

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