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Old 07-27-2006, 11:56 AM   #1
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Formaldehyde

Airstream,

My name is Bob Mariano, my wife and I and also many of our friends are interested in purchasing an Airstream Trailer. However, after an experience we had at a dealership in Phoenix, AZ and also the article we have read concerning the resins used in the building process for many of the materials, we have concerns of the toxic gases that emitted and both immediate and long-term health risks.



This isn't something we just read about, as I said we experienced this first hand at the dealership we visited, in all of the Airstream trailers we walked into. Our eyes burned and watered so much we had to leave the trailers...........as a consumer our concerns are justified, and also to let other users of Airstream Trailers to know about this as well. I am a member of Airstream Forums online and have posted this article and concerns there as well.

I would like to know if Airstream Trailers have been tested for these gases, and if so if they have been tested by an independent party, such as the Sierra Club did in the article? Also what kind of glue or resins that are used in the building process? Also, if when ordering one of the Trailers if an individual can get all solid wood cabinets, ie., shelves, doors, everything, to eliminate as much particle board or resins as possible?

We are impressed about the quality and construction of your product, and have talked to many satisfied customers, however, we are definitely concerned about this Formaldehyde issue.

This e-mail will also be posted to the Airstream Forum to keep the members there updated.

Looking forward in hearing from you.

Sincerely,

Bob Mariano



Airstream Members,
Hope this e-mail finds you and your family safe and in good health, I've been really busy traveling for work these past few weeks and haven't been online for a while. Bob, my wife and I went to a dealership here in Phoenix,AZ, actually in Mesa about 3 weeks ago to look at some new Airstream trailers. We wanted to see the layout of the Safarfi FB model, which he had one on the lot. Needless to say it was about 100plus degrees that day and the Airstream was outside in the lot..........As the salesman opened the trailer and we went in and looked around our eyes started to burn and water instantly, we both had to leave the trailer quickly.......at the time I figured it was the lack of ventilation and from the gassing effect from the Formaldehyde which was increased by the temperatures.
We looked at other trailers as we walked around and had the same effect, however not as bad.
Well, to make a long story short, as I came home yesterday from my trip and I got online I noticed this story about FEMA trailers that sheltered tens of thousands of Gulf Coast residents which were homeless by Hurricane Katrina that had high levels of Formaldehyde after being tested by the Sierra Club.
Bob, this article is very interesting, I believe the Airstream Trailer we looked at contained very high levels of Formaldehyde........it was a 2005 model.
I like to share this to article which can be accessed online at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14011193/
I really don't want to alarm everyone or over react, however I feel this needs to be brought to the attention of the readers of the Forum. As you know, I am new to the forum and was wondering if you can post this to other members so we can share this and have discussings about this article and the subject of Formaldehyde health effects concerning Airstream trailers. Have any members experienced any health or side effects from their trailers? I believe there are a number of us who really would like to know. I really would appreciate it if you can help me out with this matter, again thanks.
Regards,
Bob J Mariano
P.S. Any member can reach me at my personal e-mail bobjmariano@msn.com






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Old 07-27-2006, 05:08 PM   #2
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I was reading this week about the toxic trailers from Katrina and it seems that the amount used in building materials is small and well under what would pose a health risk to most people not particularly sensitive to it. I know we had to air out our new units whether some other brands or Airstream until the "new" smell vacated. Running the oven and heater will also produce fumes in the beginning. I open all the windows and let it all burn off several times initially. After that leaving a vent or window open takes care of residual fumes. I think it is always a good idea to leave a way for fresh air to enter the trailer whether summer or winter.

I agree a closed up trailer when it is new will give you a doozey of a headache and affect your throat and sinuses.

I can't remember where but I have seen a link for a business of polutant free trailers.

Course if the air outside doesn't kill you, the food or water might unfortunately.

Hope you find the answers to all your questions here. I think you will and welcome.
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob J. Mariano
Airstream,

My name is Bob Mariano, my wife and I and also many of our friends are interested in purchasing an Airstream Trailer. However, after an experience we had at a dealership in Phoenix, AZ and also the article we have read concerning the resins used in the building process for many of the materials, we have concerns of the toxic gases that emitted and both immediate and long-term health risks.
Bob, I think you should understand a little more of the "bigger picture". Formaldehyde (the toxic gas) is in just about every home and car in America, not just Airstreams. For example, as you mentioned, particle board contains formaldehyde. Particle board is very common in the furniture industry. Not only the cheap veneered furniture, but the framework of upholstered furniture too. Some homes have particleboard subflooring. Kitchen cabinets commonly have particleboard panels (etc..etc...). Airstream is using products that are accepted as the "industry norm". There has been some controversy over products containing formaldehyde, but for now, this is what is used. I understand your concern for you and your families health, and someday things maybe produced formaldehyde free. Until then, I'd suggest getting the camper you want and just opening it up whenever possible. Soon the outgassing of formaldehyde will dissapate, and you can ENJOY it! --dave
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Old 07-27-2006, 09:33 PM   #4
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Bob, glad to see you got this thread starting figured out. In a private message I responded to Bob's concerns in similar fashion to Carol and Dave. Every day we run into countless hazards at presumably low levels. Time and fresh air circulation will bring formaldehyde levels down to a minimum.

Many treatments for your black and grey tanks contain formaldehyde and many do not. Folks can lessen their exposures by label reading and choosing those without.
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Old 07-27-2006, 10:43 PM   #5
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Bob, my wife is very sensitive to outgassing products also,one of the reasons we wanted an AS CCD was a much smaller amount of fabrics were used. Compare the CCD with another type trailer, not only will you're eyes tear your glands will swell. The CCD worked for us. I also coated all exposed wood and plywood with a casein product called Right Step which blocks formaldehyde outgassing. Darrell
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Old 07-27-2006, 10:54 PM   #6
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Hi Bob J. Mariano--You might want to consider a lightly used newer A/S, which would no longer have a formaldehyde problem, and some one else will have already taken the initial depreciation hit.--Frank S
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Old 07-28-2006, 01:08 AM   #7
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Darrell Root- How long did it take for the smell to go away on yours? Also, did the Right Step prodcut stink and do you remember for how long?

----

This subject is near and dear to my heart. I have asthma (I often feel like the canary in the coal mine) and out gassing really bothers me. So, I just purchased a used 2005 Bambi CCD. I am very allergic to formaldehyde and love to camp. So this seems the best alternative to me. I am hoping that 2 years of use has gotten rid of most of it. Mine was made 4/04.

I looked at every RV I could find. The test was not scientific. Just my lungs being able to breathe. The lowest out gassing that I could find was Airstream. Specifically the CCD model. While I hear Airstream uses OBX for the flooring all the other cabinets seem to be of a light weight plywood. This is much better than particle board!

Good luck.

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Old 07-28-2006, 01:34 AM   #8
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Safari SE and CCD same

The Safari "Special Edition" option has the same all aluminum interior walls as the CCD models.

John
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Old 07-28-2006, 01:36 AM   #9
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JDL- Go to www.jwetc.com this is the manufacturer of right step. The site will direct you to retailers. I usually mail order the product. This is a water base varnish that dries quickly and requires 3 or 4 coats to block odors. It does have an odor that goes away quickly. I have used this for years and its a great product. I also coated all the inside of our cabinets in our home due to particle board construction. In addition I coated all the unfinished wood in a new 19' bambie for a client and they ended up spending a year of nights in it while combating mold problems in there home,mother and son had asthma. A good way to test a product like this is to finish a sample piece of wood,let it dry,then put it in a mason jar for a couple days-open and sniff. Hope this is helpful. Darrell P.S. the odor of right step does completely disapate and is a certified non-toxic product. GEE ONE MORE POST AND I GET ANOTHER RIVET-----My wife and I found this product many years ago through an environmental forum I do not recall if the company boost its blocking capibilities so I test and confirm,but it has made a huge improvement for my wife
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Old 07-28-2006, 02:10 AM   #10
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water base sealant

JDL I haven't thought about this stuff in in a long time because its second nature in our home-did a little online research and an epa website reccommended covering woods,plywoods and particle boards with laminate or a water based sealer to block formaldehydes.
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Old 07-28-2006, 03:31 AM   #11
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Darrell,

Thanks so much. Congrats on your new rivet!

Darrell - or anyone- How long did it take for the "new" smell to completely go away in your CCD?

Thanks


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Old 07-28-2006, 08:22 AM   #12
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Formaldehyde

My wife is sensetive to a new carpet smell in a home.

We purchased our AS from private party, it was two years old and still had the plastic on the carpet. The smell/aroma of the interior gave my wife head aches. We aired out the interior for 4 to 6 weeks with fans and open windows.

We are very pleased with unit.
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Old 07-28-2006, 08:32 AM   #13
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This is a pretty old issue and not something that has just popped upon the horizon. I remember my old 80's sob was a bear at first when stored in the hot weather when it was new. This subject just hasn't popped back up on the radar for a while. From my experience, and as others have said, its just a matter of getting the unit opened up which pretty much allows the gasses to dissipate. After the first season the problem pretty much eliminates itself.

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Old 07-28-2006, 09:04 AM   #14
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Although I have my asthma under control, I still dislike the smell of new cars, new carpeting and certain unknown chemicals, perhaps formaldehyde is one of them. There isn’t much I can do about it until those irritating fumes outgas and go away. However let me quote from the brochure of Thetford Sanitation Products. Most RVers use their products.

“…..formaldehyde is proven to be 100% biodegradable! That means it breaks down to simpler molecules (like carbon dioxide and water) through the natural action of oxygen, sunlight, bacteria and heat.
Most people don’t realize they come into contact with formaldehyde every day.
In fact, formaldehyde is the 25th highest volume chemical produced in America.
Many household products such as toothpaste, nail polish, fiberglass insulation, particle board and permanent press shirts all contain formaldehyde. It occurs naturally in the bloodstream, apples, spinach. tomato juice and a common by-product in the metabolism of many other foods.”

Ok but so what? We still don’t like it in high concentration.
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