Scientist: CDC bosses ignored trailer warnings

April 1, 2008 8:52:58 AM PDT
A federal scientist says he was instructed last year not to engage in e-mail discussions about potentially severe health risks from formaldehyde contamination in government-issued trailers housing Gulf Coast hurricane victims. Christopher De Rosa, a top scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's toxic substances agency, said his bosses told him that his warnings of a "pending public health catastrophe" could be misinterpreted if publicly released.

De Rosa's comments came Tuesday at a House Science and Technology subcommittee hearing.

Committee Democrats have accused the Federal Emergency Management Agency of manipulating scientific research to play down the dangers of high levels of formaldehyde found in the trailers. They say the CDC and its Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry went along with misleading residents.