Here at Healthy Homes, we have a small, but mighty volunteer force. And, possibly no volunteer is more known around the offices as a go-to helper than Alex Markham. She has been a very regular giver of time, talent, and passion over the past three years, and we are thankful to have her as part of the team.
In Case of Emergency
If your carbon monoxide detector goes off, get everyone out of the house as soon as possible and call your local fire department from either your cell phone or a neighbors house.
Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of poisoning deaths in the United States.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is an odorless and tasteless gas that can be given off during the burning of fuel.
Sources of this deadly gas in the home include furnaces, gas stoves and ovens, kerosene heaters, generators, vehicles and any other items that burn fuel. When these items malfunction or are used inappropriately, such as without adequate ventilation, they become dangerous.
Malfunctioning home furnaces cause up to 18.5% of all accidental poisonings by carbon monoxide in the United States.
Who is at Risk?
Anyone is susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning, although studies have shown that children are more susceptible to low levels of exposure.
If you have an unexplained headache, fatigue, dizziness or nausea, or if your carbon monoxide detector is going off, immediately evacuate your home and contact the fire department. Low-level carbon monoxide poisoning is often confused with cold and flu symptoms.
Carbon monoxide starves the body of oxygen and can cause death in people of any age. For children, small doses of carbon monoxide over extended periods can also cause long-lasting health and developmental problems.
The best protection is to have fuel burning appliances inspected annually and to install a carbon monoxide detector on each level of the home.
The Healthy Homes Coalition works with families with children to connect them with resources that can help provide a carbon monoxide detector for their home free of charge. Resources to provide these free CO detectors are often limited. Eligible families must have a resident child 14 years of age or younger and must live in the cities of Grand Rapids, Wyoming, or Kentwood Michigan. To see about getting a free detector for your home, contact the Healthy Homes Coalition.
Did You Know...
Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of accidental poisoning death in the U.S.
February 12, 2015 - Media alert on carbon monoxide poisoning in the winter months.
November 18, 2013 media alert regarding use of generators and risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
2013 data on carbon monoxide deaths, hospitalizations, and poisonings for the state of Michigan provided by the Michigan Deaprtment of Health and Human Services (published March 2015).
Invisible Killer(152 KB)
Guide to Carbon Monoxide.
Carbon Monoxide Fact Sheet(1.5 MB)
Fact sheet jointly authored by the Healthy Homes Coalition and Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Injury Prevention Coalition (formerly the Safe Kids Coaltiion).
This fall, Healthy Homes is starting a new lead education program to help any local family who wants to learn more about lead, and how to manage lead hazards in their home.
Hugo Claudin is the newest full-time staff member in the Healthy Homes direct services department. He will be working directly with families struggling with environmental hazards in their homes, visiting them, making action plans for them, and building relationships with them. Hugo brings a unique perspective and experience to this position. Before coming here, he previously worked for Spectrum Health, LINC, and The Red Project, all in a community health capacity. He is also a well-known artist and musician, and an all-around interesting guy.