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newsrel -- Carbon Monoxide Health Advisory

Posted: 13 Dec 2007 13:44:13
Please consider the following Air Resources Board press release
cautioning people against a potential poisoning from indoor
carbon monoxide sources.  You can review the release here: 
http://www.arb.ca.gov/newsrel/nr121307.htm .
Thank You
Dimitri Stanich


Release 07-61
December 13, 2007
Dimitri Stanich

Wintertime carbon monoxide health advisory

SACRAMENTO - As winter approaches, the California Air Resources
board is urging residents to take steps to prevent carbon
monoxide poisoning at home and at work.

"Carbon monoxide can be a deadly poison," said Chairman Mary
Nichols. "It is critical that Californians have indoor
combustion appliances, such as heaters, stoves, fireplaces and
wood stoves, checked annually to prevent illness or death.
Installing and maintaining a carbon monoxide monitor can also
save lives."

Each year, 30-40 Californians die from accidental carbon
monoxide poisoning. Even below lethal levels, exposure to carbon
monoxide may cause flu-like symptoms. These tragedies are easily

Nearly half of carbon monoxide poisoning deaths in California
are from malfunctioning or improperly vented combustion
appliances. Proper use and maintenance of appliances that
produce a flame such as gas furnaces, gas and propane space
heaters, and barbecues, can prevent exposure to lethal levels of
carbon monoxide.

Here are some tips on how you can protect yourself, your family
and loved ones:

    * Use an Underwriters Laboratory-approved carbon monoxide
detector that sounds an alarm when dangerous levels are
    * In homes with young children, elderly residents, or
individuals with pre-existing heart or lung disease, consider a
detector that also has a digital readout to indicate lower, but
still dangerous, levels of carbon monoxide;
    * Get an annual check-up by a qualified professional for
your gas appliances, fireplaces and woodstoves;
    * California law prohibits the use of kerosene or propane
space heaters, charcoal grills and unvented gas logs indoors;
    * Gas stoves and ovens should not be used for heating the
    * Portable generators should not be used indoors, in
enclosed garages, or near windows.
    * Refrain from warming up your vehicle in an enclosed space.
By design, new vehicles do not need to be warmed up before being

If you are concerned about the safety of using your gas
appliances, contact your local utility provider, state
weatherization contractor, or utility-certified heating
contractor immediately and request a "Combustion Appliance
Safety Test."

Carbon monoxide blocks the ability of red blood cells to carry
oxygen to the heart and brain. The lack of oxygen leaves a
person feeling sleepy. If the person is not removed from the
area and treated, unconsciousness and death may result. Those
most susceptible include infants, young children, pregnant
women, the elderly, and patients with pre-existing heart or
respiratory conditions.

Free booklets, "Combustion Pollutants in Your Home" and "Wood
burning Handbook," are available from ARB by calling (916)
322-8282 or by writing to: Air Resources Board, Indoor Air
Quality Program, Research Division, P.O. Box 2815, Sacramento,
CA 95812. They are also available on the web:
http://www.arb.ca.gov/research/indoor/combustion.htm and
http://www.arb.ca.gov/cap/handbooks/wood_burning_handbook.pdf .

The Air Resources Board is a department of the California
Environmental Protection Agency. ARB's mission is to promote and
protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through
effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and
considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air
pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain
health based air quality standards.

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