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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 June 2007, 01:07 GMT 02:07 UK
Carbon monoxide kills many in UK
Carbon monoxide alarm
Many homes still do not have a carbon monoxide alarm
Carbon monoxide poisoning has killed 50 people in the UK since the beginning of 2006, according to industry figures.

The gas installers' registration body Corgi said 218 people also suffered injuries caused by the "silent killer".

The study showed half the deaths and 54% of the injuries were among children and the elderly, and all the incidents involved problem household appliances.

Carbon monoxide poisoning is usually caused by faulty heating appliances and blocked flues, chimneys and vents.

Illegal installers

Yorkshire was the worst affected region followed by Wales, the North East and the Midlands.

These deaths and incidents are avoidable and yet they continue to kill and injure so many people every year
Ian Powney
Corgi

The organisation said there are about 3,000 non-registered gas installers working illegally in the UK.

The research also found 69% of homes did not have a carbon monoxide alarm, 42% did not have annual checks on appliances and a quarter of people were not aware of carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms.

Reporting system

Corgi chief operating officer Ian Powney said: "These deaths and incidents are avoidable and yet they continue to kill and injure so many people every year, and it isn't just gas appliances that can emit carbon monoxide; it is coal, wood and oil too."

Mr Powney said a central reporting system for carbon monoxide poisoning incidents should be set up.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas which can kill by stopping the body absorbing oxygen.

Poisoning symptoms include severe headaches, nausea, dizziness and tiredness.


SEE ALSO
Warning over 'silent killer' gas
09 Nov 06 |  Lincolnshire

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