Toxic Trailers - Toxic Lethargy: How the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Has Failed to Protect the Public Health: Majority Staff Report Subcommittee on Investigations & Oversight, Committee on Science & Technology, United States House of Representatives, September 2008 [open pdf - 3MB]
This report "...provides a detailed examination of the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry's (ATSDR's) production, approval and release of that health consultation and the agency's response to the FEMA/formaldehyde issue." From the executive summary: "Created in 1980 by Congress, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), based in Atlanta, Georgia, is a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "As part of its mandate to protect the public from harmful environmental chemicals the agency performs 'public health assessments of waste sites, health consultations concerning specific hazardous substances, health surveillance and registries, response to emergency releases of hazardous substances, applied research in support of public health assessments, information development and dissemination, and education and training concerning hazardous substances.' [...] ATSDR failed to translate its scientific findings and facts into appropriate public health actions to properly inform and warn FEMA and the tens of thousands of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita survivors living in FEMA-provided trailers and mobile homes of the potential health risks they faced from exposure to formaldehyde. Instead, ATSDR's reaction was marred by scientific flaws, ineffective leadership, a sluggish response to inform trailer residents of the potential risks they faced, and a lack of urgency to actually remove them from harm's way. Most disturbingly, there was a concerted and continuing effort by the agency's leadership to both mask their own involvement in the formaldehyde study, and to push the blame for their fumbling of this critical public health issue down the line to others."
House Committee on Science and Technology: http://science.house.gov/