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High Levels of Formaldehyde May Be Lurking In Your RV
People who own RV's and travel trailers probably don't think they could get sick from them, but that's exactly what happened to someone in Indiana when she went camping with her family, according to an article in the Indianapolis Star. After she got back from her trip, she had the trailer tested.
What were the findings? Airborne formaldehyde 7 times higher than what the EPA considers acceptable were inside the 27 foot travel trailer.
According to the article, travel trailers and RV's aren't regulated in what type of formaldehyde products can or cannot be used nor in what amount. The specific type of formaldehyde that's the most toxic is urea formaldehyde. It is used to make plywood and particle board - two products often found in abundance in RV's, travel trailers, 5th wheels and popup campers.
That's not to say all particle board and plywood is bad. There are some newer and more expensive glues that don't contain high levels of formaldehyde in them and are considered to be safe.
I'm not trying to scare anyone nor am I saying you should sell your RV and quit camping. I just want to create awareness. If you or your family finds you are experiencing common symtoms of formaldehyde exposure while camping (watery eyes, runny nose, burning sensation in the eyes, nose, and throat, headaches and fatigue) consider having your RV tested. If the levels are high, you will probably, at the very least, want to keep windows open and get as much fresh air as possible inside it. You should also seriously consider refitting as much of the plywood and particle board parts of your RV as possible with solid wood and other safer products.
Plus, when shopping for a new RV or camper ask how it's made, how much plywood and particle board is in it, and if that plywood and particle board has urea formaldehyde in it (if it does, don't buy it), to make sure you aren't purchasing a recreational vehicle that could make you or your family sick and ruin your camping vacations.