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Press Release: Carbon monoxide could be responsible for thousands of premature deaths in the EU

Thousands of people in the EU could be dying prematurely from heart disease and dementia because they are being slowly poisoned by low levels of carbon monoxide in their own homes.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless, tasteless, poisonous gas produced by incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels, including gas, oil, wood and coal. You can't see, taste or smell it but CO can kill quickly and without warning. It can be produced by unsafe gas and solid fuel appliances such as gas hobs, gas boilers and wood burning stoves.

Many householders in the EU have fitted carbon monoxide alarms. But there are concerns that many of these alarms do not meet industry standards. There are further worries that those which do are not always capable of detecting low levels of carbon monoxide which can still be harmful to health.

Molly Maher, President of Consumer Safety International (CSI) said:

“Research has shown that even relatively low levels of exposure to carbon monoxide over a period of time can cause heart disease, dementia and a host of other illnesses. Children, pregnant women and the elderly are particularly at risk. The symptoms are not always recognised by doctors who can mistake them for other illnesses.

Even in homes where carbon monoxide alarms are fitted low level -- but health harming -- levels of CO gas may not be detected. Breathing in this gas over a prolonged period of time can cause serious health problems.

I would advise anyone who experiences influenza like symptoms such as headache and dizziness over a prolonged period to check that any fuel burning appliances in their homes have been serviced and are working properly. It may not be influenza you are your loved ones are suffering from but a far more serious condition. Figures are hard to collate but it may not be an exaggeration to say that in the EU thousands of people are unknowingly being slowly poisoned by carbon monoxide in their own homes.”

Molly Maher has been campaigning tirelessly for over 30 years to highlight the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning since her son was killed and her daughter paralysed in a CO incident.

Molly Maher, President Consumer Safety International.

4th December 2017

Molly Maher, President of Consumer Safety International (CSI) – A charity committed to reducing accidents in domestic commercial and holiday accommodation, including their facilities, worldwide and provides advice and assistance to accident victims and their families.


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