Carbon monoxide poisoning warning

21 Nov 2011

People are being urged to ensure their boilers, cookers and heaters are in good working order this winter in a bid to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), around 50 deaths each year are attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning in England and Wales and around 4,000 people attend A&E each year because of the poisoning, which exhibits symptoms such as chest pains, dizziness, drowsiness, headaches, nausea and vomiting.

The HPA's Dr John Cooper said: "Many of these deaths take place between November and February due to faulty fossil fuel and wood-burning appliances, and are therefore preventable.

"To lower the risk, people should ensure that their fossil fuel and wood-burning appliances are regularly checked by an appropriately registered engineer."

The poisoning can cause loss of consciousness, sudden collapse and death and long-term exposure to carbon monoxide gas can cause neurological problems, including difficulty concentrating.

The HPA has recommended that as well as having appliances checked by engineers, people should fit a carbon monoxide alarm that meets European Standards EN 50291.

Copyright Press Association 2011

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