Research is adding to our understanding of indoor air pollutants; but more information is needed on the sources and control of indoor air pollution. A recent review pinpoints carbon monoxide as the leading cause of more than 15,000 accidental poisoning deaths in the United States each year, and another 10,000 injuries, according to the Carbon Monoxide Medical Association.

 

   
   
   
 
 
INDOOR AIR QUALITY AND YOUR HOME
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

Research is adding to our understanding of indoor air pollutants; but more information is needed on the sources and control of indoor air pollution.

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HOME SAFETY SPOTLIGHT

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

CO - Facts

  • Every year, over 200 people in the United States die from CO produced by fuel-burning appliances (furnaces, ranges, water heaters, room heaters). (A more recent review claims CO as the leading cause of more than 15,000 accidental poisoning deaths in the United States each year and another 10,000 injuries according to the Carbon Monoxide Medical Association)
  • Others die from CO produced while burning charcoal inside a home, garage, vehicle or tent.
  • Still others die from CO produced by cars left running in attached garages.
  • Several thousand people go to hospital emergency rooms for treatment for CO poisoning.

Other Facts:

  • On September 15, 1993, Chicago, Illinois became one of the first cities in the nation to adopt an ordinance requiring, effective October 1, 1994, the installation of CO detectors/alarms in all new single-family homes and in existing single-family residences that have new oil or gas furnaces. Several other cities also require CO detectors/alarms in apartment buildings and single-family dwellings.
  • CPSC recommends that every home have a CO detector/alarm that meets the requirements of the current UL standard 2034 in the hallway near every separate sleeping area. CPSC also works with industry to develop voluntary and mandatory standards for fuel-burning appliances.
  • CO detectors/alarms are available for boats and recreational vehicles and should be used. The Recreation Vehicle Industry Association requires CO detectors/alarms in motor homes and in tow-able recreational vehicles that have a generator or are prepped for a generator.

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Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Environmental Protection Agency

Trends in Carbon Monoxide Levels:
Long-term improvements (in air quality) continued between 1986 and 1995. National average CO concentrations decreased 37 percent while CO emissions decreased 16 percent. Long-term air quality improvement in CO occurred despite a 31 percent increase in vehicle miles traveled in the U.S. during the past 10 years. Between 1994 and 1995, national average CO concentrations decreased 10 percent, while total CO emissions decreased 7 percent. Transportation sources (includes highway and off-highway vehicles) now account for 81 percent of national total CO emissions.

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