ShareThis Page

Carbon monoxide can be deadly

| Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011

Fall brings cold weather — and potential danger for families without carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in their homes.

The most common cause of CO buildup is a clogged or faulty home heating system -- propane, natural gas, oil, wood or coal.

In October, two Cheswick children were rushed to a hospital after their family's CO alarm went off. The CO build-up was caused by a leak in the home's natural gas line -- the second time there was a CO leak in the home.

CO poisoning is preventable by an annual inspection and by checking that vents are not blocked. But the easiest, most important precaution is to purchase a CO alarm -- the only proven way to be alerted to a toxic amount of CO. CO is colorless and odorless, so without an alarm, people can't know if it reaches unsafe levels until they get sick.

Pennsylvania Senate Bill 920 would strengthen requirements for CO alarms in homes.

CO poisoning killed 578 Pennsylvanians from 2000-06. We need to tell our legislators to pass SB 920 this fall, so Pennsylvanians are protected this winter.

Ruth McDermott-Levy & Nina M. Kaktins


The writers are registered nurses and environmental health co-chairs for the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.