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

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.

 

The Source

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.

 

Symptoms

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.

 

Health Impacts

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.

 

Solutions

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.

Resources

Carbon Monoxide Kills: More Than Half of Carbon Monoxide Poisonings Occur During the Winter Months(828 KB)

February 12, 2015 - Media alert on carbon monoxide poisoning in the winter months.

MEDIA ALERT: Exercise Caution When Using Generators During Power Outage(820 KB)

November 18, 2013 media alert regarding use of generators and risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

2013 Carbon Monoxide Report for the State of Michigan(617 KB)

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).

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The Need for Universal Lead Testing

At Healthy Homes Coalition, we advocate for universal testing, lead paint removal & correction, and continuing knowledge of the issue. You should ask for your child to be tested for lead every year, up to age 3, and yearly up to age 5 if lead hazards are present in home. Once you have evidence of lead in the home, take action. If you live in Kent County, you can call Healthy Homes Coalition of West Michigan for a home environmental hazards screening, which can identify causes of lead poisoning and remove the hazards through case management. 


How the Air Quality in Your Home is Key to Overall Health

When considering the health of your home, one of the first potential hazards to consider is your air quality. According to the EPA, the levels of indoor air pollutants are often 2 to 5 times higher than outdoor levels. With the pace of modern living, we often neglect pollutants like pesticides, humidity and mold, asbestos, cigarette smoke, and volatile organic compounds.


Healthy Homes Coalition is looking for dedicated and compassionate individuals to help serve our community!