The trailers that were using following Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and were later found to be toxic apparently were made in Northern Indiana. This puts Indiana's recreational vehicle industry at the center of a federal investigation.
In 2005, when the trailers were used, there were toxic levels of formaldehyde in the emergency trailers. The highest levels were found in trailers found by 3 companies based in Northern Indiana: Gulfstream Coach Inc., Pilgrim International, Inc., and Keystone R.V. Co.
FEMA ordered the study to be conducted after scientists linked the poor health reported by the trailers' residents to toxic levels of formaldehyde. The results of the study for the first time released the names of the trailers' manufacturers. 6 companies manufactured 61% of the 56,000 trailers purchased by FEMA. Of those 6 companies, 5 were based in Indiand. The additional two are Fleetwood and Forest River.
Formaldehyde is a common chemical used when plywood is manufactured. The treated wood is used in buildings and homes across the country. Government and and plywood industry officials are now trying to figure out what went wrong that the level of formaldehyde was toxic in these trailers.
Officials from both the American industry and the Canadian industry are suggesting that the problem might be improperly sealed plywood from China. They also suggest that the different form of formaldehyde used in China could be a problem as well.