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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 ARB/PIO _______________________________________________________________ Release 07-61 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 13, 2007 Dimitri Stanich 916-322-2990 www.arb.ca.gov 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 preventable. 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 detected; * 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 home; * 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 driven. 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. #####