Trailer Residents React To CDC Formaldehyde Findings

"Formaldehyde is a death. That's what they're doing.  They're slowly killing us," said Cynthia Willis.

Cynthia Willis says the fumes hit her, the moment she enters her FEMA trailer.

"You try to breathe, and it gags you," Willis said.

Willis and her two grandchildren have been staying in the tiny trailer, since Katrina heavily damaged their home on Phyllis Drive in Gulfport.

"It's like trying to sleep in something smothered," Willis said. "You can't turn the heat on, because you're going to be clogged up, gagging and coughing."

WLOX-News first brought you Mrs. Willis' story in 2006. She blames her recent heart problems, rashes, sinus, and other breathing troubles on one thing -- formaldehyde.

"It's horrible. It's a nightmare. I wouldn't have no one to stay in it," said Willis.

"We knew there was a health concern," said Anthony Thompson.

Thompson is a member of The Amos Network. The organization was among the first to sound the alarm about the dangerous levels of formaldehyde. He says the findings by the CDC only confirm what the group has known all along.

"I'm not really surprised, given the fact that some of the people that I knew personally were having these health issues because of the trailers they were in," said Thompson. "Now we can move forward. And we would love for the mayors and the governor to meet with us so we can come up with a solution to fix this problem as soon as possible."

Cynthia Willis and her family are slowly moving back into their home.  The house is under repairs. She looks forward to the day when her trailer is hauled away.

"They can come pull it today. I don't want any reminder of formaldehyde," Willis said. "I thank God for those that did the tests, because they might have saved not only my life, but a lot of more lives that are still in them like I am, which is a blessing."

The Amos Network relied on an earlier study conducted by the Sierra Club. It found that out of 30 trailers tested for the chemical, only two were at safe levels.