N.C. Gov. Probes State’s Manufactured Housing Industry

February 15, 2008

North Carolina Gov. Mike Easley asked the head of the state’s manufactured housing industry group for information and help to ensure North Carolina residents living in manufactured homes are safe from any health threats due to toxic chemicals in the materials used in their construction.

Easley sent the following letter to Brad Lovin, executive director of the North Carolina Manufactured Housing Institute:

Today (Feb. 14) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fumes from formaldehyde were at such toxic levels that it is urging Gulf Coast hurricane victims to, as soon as possible, move out of the government-issued manufactured homes and travel trailers they have been living in. The CDC reported finding toxic levels in these manufactured homes and trailers, which we understand are basic off-the-lot models, high enough to cause burning eyes and breathing problems for people who have asthma or sensitivity to air pollutants.

I am sure you agree that no one, whether living in temporary government-issued housing or in a manufactured home purchased by private individuals, should be subjected to health threats in their homes due to high levels of toxic fumes from materials used to build these homes.

I am asking your help to make sure we protect the health of those in North Carolina who are living in manufactured housing. Can you please tell me:

— What is the level of formaldehyde in manufactured homes made, as well as sold, in North Carolina?
— Who in North Carolina owns these mobile homes with the high levels of formaldehyde and who is selling them?
— What are you doing to address these health concerns and fix the problem?
— How can we help you make sure that people who might be in potentially unhealthy homes are aware of the situation and make sure they are safe?

As a part of my concern, I am taking the added precaution of asking the North Carolina State Board of Education to direct school systems around the state to check the temporary classroom buildings used by many of our students to make sure they are safe from toxic fumes.

I know it is important to your industry to deliver a high quality and safe product to consumers. I look forward to your prompt answers to our concerns.

Source: Office of the Governor of North Carolina

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