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Tom Brake MP Supports First Annual Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week

November 22, 2006 5:21 PM

Local Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake for Carshalton and Wallington is lending his support to the UK's first Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, which is being launched at the House of Commons on Tuesday 5th December 2006, and will run until Friday 8th December in Runcorn. Attendees at the Westminster event will include victims who have been poisoned by CO and those who have lost friends and loved ones to this silent and preventable killer.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning, usually the result of poorly maintained boilers or other domestic appliances, is thought to kill 50 people in Britain every year. Alarmingly, death rates have been rising in recent years.

"Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week is intended to draw the dangers of Carbon Monoxide poisoning to the public's attention," explained Tom Brake MP. "I urge all my constituents to take precautions to protect themselves and their families, by making sure that their domestic appliances are maintained and Carbon Monoxide alarms are fitted in their homes. After learning about the risks I will be decking out my home with several Carbon Monoxide detectors."

CO-Awareness is a not-for-profit organisation based in Cheshire that is working to raise awareness of the dangers of CO. They will be calling on the Government, regulators and industry to tighten procedures for inspection and maintenance of equipment, as well as improving training of installers and giving them access to CO monitors.

Lynn Griffiths, President of the CO-Awareness Campaign, said, "We believe knowledge is the key to preventing Carbon Monoxide poisoning. In most cases of accidental poisonings, victims don't realise that Carbon Monoxide was being produced or building up in the air they were breathing. Carbon Monoxide is the most common poison in the UK today. There is no large scale public information campaign about it and it is not routinely tested for at post mortems. We need to make sure all doctors, especially those in emergency departments and GPs, are aware of the symptoms that Carbon Monoxide can cause. Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week therefore seeks to address all these issues. We must no longer stay silent about this silent killer"

Already, there are also plans in the works to make CO-Awareness Week even bigger next year. It will be held in October, and CO-Awareness already has plans for five events throughout the week to cover the whole of the country.

More information is available at the campaign's website www.co-awareness.co.uk.

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