Looking to own a piece of history — or just want someplace to put those pesky in-laws when they show up unexpectedly? The General Services Administration has a deal for you! The government agency is selling off thousands of FEMA trailers leftover from the Hurricane Katrina period at rock-bottom prices. Of course, as with any second-hand product, these come with some caveats. In this case, it’s a warning that “the government may not have tested all of these units for formaldehyde.”
While a few units are available as one-offs, and are attracting bids of around $1,500, most of the trailers and prefabricated buildings are being sold in lots of between 200 and 400 units. Bids for these have gone as high as $1 million, despite government warnings that “formaldehyde is used in the manufacture of travel trailers, park models and manufactured housing and may still be present in these units.”
Since bidder identities aren’t disclosed, there’s no way to know who these would-be housing magnates are. But if any of these show up in a trailer park near you, follow CDC advice and see a doctor if you find yourself suffering from unexplained eye, nose and throat irritation, skin rashes or shortness of breath. Or just find a new place to live. You’d be amazed at how many homes out there aren’t contaminated with formaldehyde.