MDCH Launches New Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Website

Contact: James McCurtis, Jr. (517) 241-2112
Agency: Community Health

December 11, 2007

LANSING - Every year, hundreds of people in the United States die and thousands more are sickened from carbon monoxide poisoning. As a result, the Division of Environmental Health within the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) has developed a new Web site that has information on the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home, workplace, and while on vacation. The Web site also provides helpful steps that can be taken to avoid being poisoned this season.

The launch of the new site aims to educate Michigan residents on the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and on various prevention techniques as it coincides with deer hunting season and the frigid winter months. Fuel-burning equipment and appliances such as furnaces, water heaters, and generators, emit carbon monoxide. If the equipment malfunctions or is used improperly, dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can build up. Michigan residents are at special risk because of the types of equipment used while on outdoor vacations and while inside the home during the long winter.

Common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include a headache, a feeling of weakness, dizziness, and sleepiness, shortness of breath, and/or an upset stomach. The symptoms often appear quickly and may affect everyone in the area. Children and the elderly are most at risk. Death can occur if fresh air and emergency health care are not immediately provided.

For more information, please contact Martha Stanbury or Noreen Hughes of MDCH at (517) 335-8350 or 1-800-MI-TOXIC or visit the new site at www.michigan.gov/carbonmonoxide.