Texas storms shine light on risks associated with CO exposure
Congressman Brian Higgins announced approval of the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act of 2021 (H.R. 1460). The bipartisan bill makes grants available to increase the distribution and installation of carbon monoxide detectors.
Higgins said, “The hidden nature of excessive carbon monoxide exposure presents a very real danger. Thankfully, technology exists to alert people of the risk. Increasing the use of carbon monoxide detectors will save lives.”
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can lead to poisoning and death without warning. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 20,000 Americans visit the emergency room due to carbon monoxide exposure while 400 people die from it annually.
Under the bill, a grant program is established to support the purchase of carbon monoxide detectors, particularly targeting seniors, low-income families, and public places, such as day care facilities and senior centers, which commonly serve children and the elderly. The grants would also be available to educate the public about the risks of carbon monoxide and raise awareness about the importance of carbon monoxide alarms.
The recent winter storms, which knocked out power in Texas, caused people to seek out unconventional heating sources – many unknowingly exposing their families to carbon monoxide. Public reports indicate as many as 80 people died as a result of the storm, several attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning.