Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Carbon Monoxide News July 15, 2014 - posts updated frequently

Every day is a carbon monoxide safety education day.
Scroll back in time through our archives for previous CO News links.
We can learn from others mistakes and efforts to prevent poisoning.

“Don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you’ve got ‘til it’s gone..”
"Big Yellow Taxi" - Joni Mitchell - music link

What is in the air you are breathing right now?
What will you be doing today; walking into poison?
Who will be responsible for the air you breathe?
You may be the only person who can prevent your own poisoning.

We are all vulnerable to carbon monoxide exposure and poisoning.
Everyone has been poisoned by CO and will be poisoned again. The degree of the poisoning depends upon allowing yourself to be in a situation where someone else controls the air you breathe and the mechanisms for alarming notification.

Please read the alarm information on the package and in the instructions that come with the unit. Know when your fire department and emergency responders begin wearing their breathing apparatus and what their civilian evacuation levels are for carbon monoxide; it may be as soon as the gas is present in your presence. Pregnant women, infants & children, people with heart & respiratory struggles, those suffering depression or chronic headaches and all people of vulnerable health should be alerted as soon as the gas begins to concentrate, around 10 PPM (parts per million).

Do not take risks with carbon monoxide. Take responsibility for the air you breathe and the combustion systems you are responsible for. If you don’t do it for yourself, do it for others.

Help prevent injuries and deaths; don’t guess about carbon monoxide.

Measure carbon monoxide for safety and knowledge. The more you test the more you learn. Measurement is continuing education at its best.
Bob Dwyer, CSME Carbon Monoxide Safety

CO and Air Quality News Links
Plymouth teenager in a coma after carbon monoxide poisoning
Plymouth Herald
THE family of a teenager who is in a coma after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning are appealing to music fans at tonight's MTV Crashes gig to…

USPS has employee arrested for terrorism after he reports carbon monoxide leak
KMOX St Louis reports that the US Postal Service had a maintenance employee arrested on terrorism charges after he reported a carbon monoxide ...

Front Range air-pollution study begins Wednesday
Boulder County Business Report
BROOMFIELD - State and federal scientists on Tuesday will unveil a major field campaign examining summertime air pollution along the Northern ...

Air pollution deadly until 2030
Daily Echo
AIR pollution will continue to kill scores of people every year in Southampton until 2030, the Government has admitted. Ministers had predicted that ...

Hong Kong authorities urged to release air pollution report
Channel News Asia
An environmentalist group is urging Hong Kong authorities to come clean about reports commissioned seven years ago on air pollution in the…

Fredericksburg woman named to state panel
The Free Lance-Star
“From the standpoint of both business considerations and overall quality-of-life reasons that individuals would choose to locate in Virginia, air quality is ...

World Bank Reveals Pakistan's Urban Air Pollution Problems
News Pakistan
It was recently reported from Islamabad that the World Bank report claimed that Pakistan's urban air pollution might cause a lot of problem to the world ...

Replay: Fire Hazards in the Wild (and not so wild) 
Forest and wild land fire fighters and support staff often get poisoned as they work.  These fire fighters work in deteriorated air   quality without the aid of breathing apparatus that your local fire departments would not nor are they allowed to work in. The respiratory and cardiac health of these courageous people are jeopardized with the inhalation of the smoke and toxic gases produced by the various stages of combustion that are occurring. They often work in atmospheres of carbon monoxide above the evacuation levels used by fire departments for citizen evacuation of buildings and their COHb levels can only go up as oxygen displacement and poisoning begins. 

See Public Health Issues Associated With Wildfires 
by Lisa A. Klatka, DO, MS 

They know about forest fires in Montana, unfortunately.  "Traditionally, breathing smoke on the fire line has been considered all in a day's work for wild land firefighters. Smoke is one of the many occupational risks that comes with the job, along with falling snags, breaking a leg, or worse, getting burned over. Researchers are just beginning to learn more about the serious health problems that can result from inhaling wildfire smoke." (Robin Bible, Tennessee Division of Forestry, "Breathing" ) “Through the detailed chemical characterizations of smoke, we find literally hundreds of compounds, many of these in very, very low concentrations,” says Darold Ward of the Forest Service's Fire Sciences Laboratory in Missoula, Montana.

When forest fuels burn, they discharge hundreds, if not thousands, of chemical compounds into the atmosphere, including carbon monoxide, total suspended particulates, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and water vapor. “Breathing high smoke concentrations does expose those persons to toxic compounds contained in the smoke,” says Shannon Therriault, air quality specialist with the Missoula City-County Health Department.

One of the greatest hazards in smoke  lies in the particulate matter, a general term for that mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in air. Particulate from smoke tends to be very small, and as a result, is more of a health concern than the coarser particles,” Therriault said. “For example, the diameter of the average human hair is about 30 times bigger. These particles can build up in your respiratory system, causing a number of health problems, including burning eyes, runny noses, cough, headache and irritated sinuses. Long-term exposure, such as on the order of what firefighters experience, can impair lung function and possibly lead to cardiopulmonary disease and lung cancer.”

Studies have found that fine particulate matter,  alone or with other pollutants, is linked to a number of significant respiratory and cardiovascular-related diseases. In addition, airborne particles are respiratory irritants and laboratory studies show that high concentrations of particulate matter cause persistent cough, phlegm, wheezing and physical discomfort in breathing. Particulate matter also can alter the body's immune system and affect removal of foreign materials like pollen and bacteria from the lungs.

Carbon monoxide,  a colorless, odorless gas, is produced as a byproduct of incomplete combustion. Firefighters are exposed to large amounts of the gas in the smoldering stages of the fire, usually during the final mop-up stage. Carbon monoxide enters the bloodstream through the lungs and reduces oxygen delivery to the body's organs and tissues.
Also See International Association of Wildland Fire 

Unfortunately we throw people into harm’s way to put out wildfires.  Fortunately we know that technology and portable safety systems exist to monitor the health and protect the air breathed in by these courageous people. The fire fighter should have a base COHb% test registered before their season or before their entry into the fire battle zone. They should be tested again when they finish their shift or whenever the symptoms begin to appear or be acknowledged by the fighter.

Breathing apparatus and monitoring COHb levels makes the most sense for protection even in the mop up areas where the smoldering embers may be the biggest threats.  
No one should have to breathe in those gases as part of their job to save public or private lands despite the tradition of the fire fighting system. Bob Dwyer CSME. Carbon Monoxide Safety 

Who is responsible for the air you breathe? 
Take control inside your homes. 
-Link to:  CO alarm standards  

The lowest U.L. 2034 & CSA 6.19 carbon monoxide alarm test point is: 
- 70 PPM to 149 PPM –resist one hour, must alarm before 4 hours 
Please read the alarm information on the package and in the instructions. Know when your fire department and emergency responders begin wearing their breathing apparatus and what their civilian evacuation levels are for carbon monoxide; it may be before 70 PPM. It is for pregnant women, infants & children, the elderly and all people of vulnerable health. Bob Dwyer, CSME Carbon Monoxide Safety 

Consider low level protection for carbon monoxide and smoldering fire detection problems; don't leave anyone behind.

These following links may be of some use to you: 

· Please take CARBON MONOXIDE SAFETY CARE during all holiday and everyday activities.

National Conference of State Legislatures 
Carbon Monoxide Detectors State Statutes 

Twenty-eight U.S. states have statutes that require carbon monoxide detectors in certain residential buildings. Updated Feb. 2014
Alaska | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida |
  |Vermont | Virginia | Washington | Wisconsin | |Minnesota 
Red Cross - Typhoon Appeal continues in the Philippines. Another please, with hopes of another thank you. Bob Dwyer, CSME Carbon Monoxide Safety

Red Cross - Disaster Relief to safely assist law enforcement, fire department, utility company, city, county and state authorities as repair and rebuilding moves forward. Bob Dwyer, CSME Carbon Monoxide Safety

Nationally, the Red Cross provides food and shelter to people affected by as many as 70,000 fires annually, or about one fire every eight minutes.

The following companies are acknowledged for their continued support of carbon monoxide safety education and this daily news blog. They may just have what you are looking for. 
Fieldpiece Instruments 
The Energy Conservatory 
IntelliTec Colleges