Toxicity in Mobile Homes3 min read
Consumer concern about toxicity in mobile homes is an issue that is not dwindling but is rather growing in importance for health reasons since there is an increasing number of mobile home occupants that have experienced noticeable serious health issues while living in trailers. Of most recent note is the many numbers of people who were left homeless in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana.
As an attempt to provide immediate temporary homes to the many thousands who lost their homes, the Federal government intervened and provided quickly built house trailers for many families until they could find their own permanent place to live. After several months of living in these temporary homes, many people began to notice health problems that they had never had before such as asthmatic problems, upper respiratory issues and a host of other strange symptoms. Many attributed these adverse reactions to the mobile homes in which they lived since they noticed a strong, pungent odor that constantly emitted from the homes.
While this is a general example without complete scientific study to back up their claims as of yet, there is mounting evidence that traditionally built mobile homes have an undue amount of chemicals laced throughout the building materials that are used to construct them. Federal regulatory agencies have even reduced the allowed amount of chemical toxins allowable in the building of these home as far back as the ’80s.
Obviously, there has been a concern backed up by scientific evidence for quite some time about the negative health effects associated with living in most typical mobile homes, especially newer home that still emit dangerous chemical fumes. So why isn’t the issue of toxicity in mobile homes directly addressed by health experts as well as government regulatory agencies? And why isn’t the public commonly aware of the dangers of this phenomenon?
The short explanation is that to exclude or ban the material used in the construction of these homes would seriously hurt manufacturers and mobile homes sales. A ‘band aid’ regulatory provision is in place regarding chemical toxins used in building these homes, but really doesn’t make house trailers as safe as they should be for consumers. So, it’s important for consumers to be aware of what they are getting when they choose to purchase a new mobile home.
What goes into the construction of the typical house trailer? Particle board is often used in the sheathing, subflooring and decking of most mobile homes. It is also used in the construction of the interior kitchen and bathroom cabinetry as well as other areas. Vinyl is very often used to cover the walls, floor and other surfaces to make for a better looking finish.
Also, glue is used in various places throughout a home. Carpeting is used to cover floors as well. Sounds normal doesn’t it? The problem is that most of these substances have a high level of various chemicals that continue to de-gas for years. Chemicals such as formaldehyde is found in particle board and plywood. It’s also found in carpeting and various types of glues.
Petrochemicals are also found in vinyl and plastics as well as some carpeting. This is just a few of some of the most toxic chemicals used in the building materials of mobile homes. That’s not to consider the various stains, paints and sealants used in the construction process. If these chemicals can be dangerous to a person’s health, then why are they consistently used?
Since mobile homes need to be lighter in weight for road transit, many of these chemicals make it possible to build the homes much lighter in weight. Also, it’s cheaper to use synthetic based materials rather than natural materials such as solid wood. It’s important for health reasons to understand inherit toxicity in mobile homes for those who plan on purchasing a new one or are already living in a house trailer.