Michigan Residents Urged to Protect Against Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Know Safety Tips and Warning Signs

Contact: Angela Minicuci (517) 241-2112

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 1, 2012

LANSING - Governor Rick Snyder has proclaimed this week, Oct. 28 through Nov. 3, as Carbon Monoxide Safety and Awareness Week in Michigan. In conjunction, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) is reminding everyone to protect their families from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

"With the recent power outages in Michigan, as well as the winter months approaching, now is the ideal time to make sure that our homes are protected from carbon monoxide," said James K. Haveman, Director of the MDCH. "Carbon monoxide poisoning is completely preventable, so we want to be sure that Michigan residents know what to look for and how to protect themselves."

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that kills more than 500 Americans each year and up to 50 a year in Michigan. It is produced by all forms of combustion. Warning signs include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion. If you suspect you have been exposed to carbon monoxide, immediately evacuate the area of contamination and seek medical attention.

Never use generators, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage or near a window because these appliances give off carbon monoxide. Running a car in an enclosed garage can create lethal levels of carbon monoxide in minutes.

Michigan's carbon monoxide poisoning tracking system counted 26 unintentional deaths and 986 non-fatal unintentional carbon monoxide poisonings in Michigan in 2010 alone. More than 60 percent occurred during the winter months and happened most frequently at home.

For more information about carbon monoxide poisoning and poisoning prevention, visit www.michigan.gov/carbonmonoxide.

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