The federal government is auctioning off tens of thousands of FEMA trailers
at fire-sale prices -- roughly 40 cents on the dollar spent by taxpayers
. But given the health concerns regarding excessive off-gassing of formaldehyde in those trailers, prospective buyers be warned: The price is no bargain. The Sierra Club spot-tested the trailers
(pdf) and found elevated levels of the carcinogen and respiratory irritant in more than 80 percent of cases.
For its part, FEMA has been dismissive of the health concerns
. Last week the agency's director, David Paulison, responded to complaints by saying, "We've told people they can air those trailers out." But, as the Sierra Club's Becky Gillette responded, "We're getting high readings in trailers that are 20 months old