The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) have launched a new campaign to raise public awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
This new campaign, ‘Watch Out. Carbon Monoxide Kills.’, drives home the importance of having all fossil fuel boilers and appliances properly installed and serviced annually, to ensure that carbon monoxide is not produced. It also strongly urges householders to install an audible carbon monoxide alarm in their home as an added precaution.
Dr Anne Wilson, Public Health Consultant with the PHA said, "Raising awareness of the dangers of CO poisoning is crucial as even though the number of deaths and hospital admissions each year from CO poisoning in Northern Ireland is relatively small, each death is a tragedy and something that can be prevented."
Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous gas which is impossible to see, taste or smell and anyone who uses an appliance that burns a fossil fuel including gas, oil and coal as well peat and wood, is potentially at risk from carbon monoxide poisoning. Aside from deaths, many more people will have suffered lasting damage to their health by lower level exposure to carbon monoxide, causing a series of flu-like symptoms, such as headaches, nausea, breathlessness, dizziness, collapse and loss of consciousness, to more serious conditions such as nerve damage, memory loss and personality change.
Carbon monoxide. Are you at risk? DHSSPS. www.nidirect.gov.uk/8155_-_co_a5_leaflet_d16.pdf
The PHA information leaflet on diagnosing carbon monoxide poisoning for staff working in primary care is at www.publichealthagency.org/sites/default/files/Diagnosing_Leaflet_1.pdf