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Carbon monoxide poisoning in private dwellings

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a very common environmental hazard in the UK and is a known cause of a significant number of fatalities and hospital admissions from accidental poisoning. Some of the associated morbidity is not well characterized as poisoning and is often undiagnosed.

EPHT will facilitate surveillance of health events coded as having been caused by carbon monoxide and will relate these events to known carbon monoxide hazards at population level such as building related factors (gas appliance failures and ventilation defects) and the interventions available to address these problems. This will be an example of 'outcome tracking'.

The HPA would facilitate understanding of interventions that could be designed to reduce the impact of a series of related hazards. To achieve this, the following 10 steps have been identified:

  1. Design of CO-related tracking programme
  2. Surveillance of routine health data
  3. Surveillance of actively collected CO-incident data
  4. Other CO-related hazard tracking, from health point of view
  5. CO-related hazard tracking, from housing point of view – gas appliances
  6. CO-related hazard tracking, from housing point of view – accidental house fires
  7. Environmental evaluation
  8. Public Health evaluation
  9. Risk communication
  10. Risk management

Hazard tracking flow diagram

Hazard tracking flow diagram for carbon monoxide


 

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