The Grand Portage Reservation is at the northeastern tip of Minnesota. The Air Quality Program has many ongoing projects in order to maintain healthy indoor and outdoor air. These projects include monitoring for regional haze and particulate matter, indoor air quality, invasive plant removal, public outreach, environmental education, alternative energy, and climate change.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

More on the Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

The heating season is the deadliest time of year for carbon monoxide poisoning, and it nearly cost a St. Paul couple their lives:

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

A St. Paul couple were in critical condition after they were found unconscious in bed Tuesday afternoon, victims of what fire officials suspect was carbon monoxide poisoning from a malfunctioning boiler...

The house was inspected by Xcel Energy, Zaccard said, and it appeared that the flue was blocked, backing up exhaust gases in the home, perhaps for some time.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless and odorless gas that can accumulate in the blood and deplete it of the ability to carry oxygen. At sustained concentrations above 150 to 200 parts per million, it can cause disorientation, unconsciousness and death, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

When firefighters entered the house Tuesday, they detected carbon monoxide levels at 300 parts per million, Zaccard said.

When they got to the boiler, he said, levels were "well in excess" of 850 parts per million, the maximum level that the firefighters' equipment can measure.

"By far, it's the most serious case we've had for this winter," he said, adding that St. Paul firefighters average about one call a day about dangerous carbon monoxide levels.

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