Letters: Formaldehyde, Space Toilets

Listeners respond to recent coverage, including a story on formaldehyde in FEMA trailers, and the use of "slang" in a story about the ongoing toilet problems aboard the international space station.

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Now a quick look at how some listeners felt about last night's program. We got some personal responses to a story about my colleague, Noah Adams. He visited a factory that built some of the FEMA trailer who used to house homeless victims of Hurricane Katrina. Formaldehyde in some of those trailers has caused health problems. One employee at the Fleetwood plant in Edgerton, Ohio told Noah this.

Unidentified Man #1: All we hear is all the negative feedback, we've never heard anything that says, you know, thanks, Fleetwood, or thanks, whoever.

NORRIS: Millicent Hand(ph) of New Orleans had this response. I'm sorry to say there will be no thank you from this particular Katrina survivor except perhaps a thank you, God, I never had the privilege of spending a night in one of the poisonous gifts they were so kind and gracious to make for us.

But Keith Arsomon(ph) of Hammond, Louisiana had a different view. Living in New Orleans most of my life, I've realized that the people who expect government assistance on a daily basis expected nothing less when disaster strikes. They never say thank you because think they deserve everything at no cost to themselves.

Finally, Nell Greenfieldboyce's story on the broken toilet and the orbiting space station prompted this retort from John Ward in Minneapolis. Your reporter referenced how the astronauts had to deal with their waste after, quote, "they take a pee."

Whatever happened to using words like urinate, too clinical? Like my dear old father used to say when I was being ineloquent, is that all you learned in college?

Well, don't flush your comments down the drain; you can write to us at npr.org/contact.

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