formaldehyde and mobile homes? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 04-29-2002, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
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my husband and i are trying to sell our house in order to live on some land we bought-- the problem is that we havent decided what we live in when we get there. we dont make very much money (28,000 a year now and it will be less in a few months when he gets a teaching job) and we have a lot of bills that we wanted to pay off, so we thought for a long time we would buy a mobile home and have a low mortgage payment for a few years, paying off all of our debt, and then building a house. but i am very concerned about the high level of formaldehyde in these homes- supposedly the smell goes away if you ventilate it and run the air conditioner in it for a few days, but it still concerns me. has anybody ever dealt with this problem and did some research-- what did you find out? my husband is pretty mad at me right now, he thinks i'm too obsessive about things, that people are exposed to chemicals all over the place and i shouldnt let this one bother me, because you cant live in a "perfect" world. maybe hes right, but i dont want to live there and have a panic attack every day. i need some info.

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#2 of 3 Old 04-29-2002, 06:30 PM
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I don't have any good research but last year I lived in a brand new mobile home for a while. Supposedly the new ones have less formaldehyde or better ventilation, but while living there (it was over winter so I was inside a lot) I developed indoor allergies, something I've never had before. Dh had a couple of unexplained severe allergic reactions without any apparent cause. I never could get used to the smell in there. We moved for job reasons but I was glad to get away.

I don't want to scare you out of your plans however--it makes good financial sense to me and as long as you're not going to live in the mobile home forever and try to keep it well ventilated when you're there you should be OK. OR another thing you might want to consider would be alternative building methods such as straw bale construction that cost way less than lumber framing. You could build a small structure to meet your basic needs and add on to it gradually. Dh and I are considering moving to some land we own too. We have a small rustic cabin there but the plan would be to add on gradually.

good luck!
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#3 of 3 Old 04-29-2002, 09:54 PM
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We are looking at doing this too. Try researching the different companies that make the homes, and see what you feel. Also, I highly recommend Mother Earth News - they had a great article on building your own home debt-free in the last issue (not this months). They aslo advertise a bunch of companies that offer kits that just might suit your purpose.
If you end up with a formaldehyde concern I know that there are several indoor plants that are known to specifically to remove it. I have a book listing them somewhere here- I will look for you. You can try running a search for 'air quality', plants', etc.
Best of luck, Mir
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