Tuesday, January 29, 2013

CO (Carbon Monoxide) Poisoning In West Ridge. Natural Gas Is A Primitive Way To Heat Our Homes.

               This has been covered by all major news sources, including DNAinfo, Huffington Post, CBS, Tribune, Suntimes, WGN, Beloit Daily News, Firehouse.com, ABC, NBC and of course many of these articles are on Everyblock already. Whenever unexpected death occurs it is tragic especially if its because of how we heat our homes. The fire dept was called yesterday morning 1/28/13 to 2500 block of W. NorthShore Chicago Il. according to numerous news accounts. Confirmation by autopsy of the two bodies will need to be done before official cause of death can be determined. But CO poisoning from a defective boiler is suspected.

WGN news van transmitting signal at the scene
 of the tragedy (Northshore & Campbell)  @8:20 pm CST 1/28/13. 

             CO poisoning can occur with appliances such as clothes dryers, furnaces, water heaters, generators or the classic car running inside a garage. If ventilation is defective, obstructed or the unit not properly installed this can cause CO to accumulate. The air return from a faulty forced heating unit can suck in CO from another source. Carbon monoxide poisoning cause people to have a peculiar cherry red tint to their skin, the color of carboxyhemoglobin.  It (CO) binds to hemoglobin with sixty times stronger the affinity than oxygen does.  Carbon monoxide is colorless, doesn't smell like anything and can cause an insidious onset of symptoms starting with headache, dizziness, nausea, tachycardia and then convulsions, respiratory distress and finally death. The only known proven antidote is oxygen in high doses (hyperbaric oxygen). Every year two hundred to seven hundred people die from CO poisoning.

                In the future people will have different ways to heat their homes and the dangers of CO poisoning will be a thing of the past. "You mean they used to heat their homes with natural gas? That's ludicrous!" the people from the future will exclaim (post cryo-freeze) after happening upon an interesting uplink during their hibernation to a far off world. Natural gas is flammable (think natural gas explosion), its toxic to breath and its byproduct is toxic and undetectable to our naked senses. Since we are stuck in the present we have to make sure we have CO detectors and that they are working to protect ourselves. This article reminds us to think, is it the flu or CO poisoning? The CDC has an excellent page on carbon monoxide dangers and prevention. The Poisoner's Handbook is a great book about the most common ways humans can be poisoned one of them is carbon monoxide.

           Geothermal heating makes much more sense. Thats what J. Pritzker is putting into his Frank Llyod Wright house. To heat your home through the natural heat from the Earth's core, or Sol's sunlight versus some lethal methane/propane/ethane gas? The decision is simple, the problem is we are stuck with this archaic method of heating our houses unless we dedicate the money into other safer technology. Forget Earth friendly, how about human friendly? The two go hand in hand.

Our homes and how they are heated can be lethal.

1 comment:

Philip McGregor Rogers said...

It looks like there is someone with a microphone waiting on the sidewalk if you look close up.

Sad story. When someone gets a high up dose of CO its fatal, sounds like there was quite a leak in this building.