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A putative class of people who allegedly sustained injuries from exposure to formaldehyde while living in trailers provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency are suing FEMA and the private contractors who provided the trailers. The action filed May 18 in federal court in New Orleans claims that people living in FEMA trailers have been exposed to dangerously high concentrations of formaldehyde fumes which have caused serious pulmonary injuries and other maladies. Oldenburg v. U.S., No. 07-2961 (E.D. La.) After Hurricane Katrina, FEMA purchased more than 100,000 house trailers at a cost of $2.6 billion. Composite wood and plywood used in their construction allegedly contained formaldehyde which, if put in high heat and humidity, releases formaldehyde vapors into the air, the plaintiffs say. Alexandra Kirin, spokeswoman for FEMA, said that the agency does not comment on pending litigation. The complaint was filed by Parker Waichman Alonso Mark of New York; Gainsburgh, Benjamin, David, Meunier & Warshauer of New Orleans; the Law Offices of Daniel E. Becnel Jr. of Reserve, La.; and the Law Offices of Ronnie G. Penton of Bogalusa, La.

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