MP backs awareness campaign to combat Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP David Mundell has pledged his support for a campaign to help raise and renew awareness of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
The CO-Awareness charity was founded in 2005 by a woman who was poisoned in her home for over a decade. Lynn Griffiths established the charity to promote education of the dangers of CO poisoning, and aims to encourage people to make sure they are protected against it, as well as support those poisoned by carbon monoxide.
Carbon monoxide is the most common poison in the UK today, and its effects are devastating. Exposure to it can damage organs including the brain, eyes, heart, lungs and kidneys. It can also cause permanent brain damage by starving the blood of oxygen, and is often dubbed the 'silent killer' as in most cases of accidental poisoning victims don't realise that carbon monoxide is being produced and building up in the air they are breathing.
Mr Mundell said he hoped that constituents throughout the region would make sure they were protected against CO poisoning and added: "Audible CO alarms can be bought from most supermarkets and hardware stores and they don't cost much. We all owe it to our families, friends and neighbours to ensure they are protected. I hope as many people as possible will make it a New Year resolution in 2012 to protect their health and safety, and by following the advice of the charity and getting a CO alarm fitted, more lives could be saved."
• Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas that is difficult to detect because it is colourless and has no taste or smell. It is produced by faulty or poorly maintained or ventilated fossil fuel burning appliances, and by blocked or partially blocked flues.
• CO poisoning causes symptoms that are similar to flu or food poisoning, including headaches, tiredness, nausea and difficulty in thinking clearly.
• The older generation, people with heart or lung problems, pregnant women, unborn babies and young children are particularly susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide.
• Lynn Griffiths is the President of Carbon Monoxide Awareness. The charity has a new website: www.covictim.org
• People with milder symptoms of CO poisoning usually begin to recover when they leave the contaminated area and move into fresh air. Exposure to high levels of CO can kill.
• Anyone who suspects they may be suffering from CO poisoning should immediately turn off all appliances, go outside and seek medical help from a qualified healthcare professional. NHS Direct: 0845 4647
• Useful links: Gas Safe Register - 0800 408 5500 or visit www.gassaferegister.co.uk
Heating Equipment Testing and Approval Scheme (HETAS) - 0845 634 5626 or visit www.hetas.co.uk
Solid Fuel Association (SFA) - 0845 601 4406 or visit www.solidfuel.co.uk