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Profiles of Innovative State Programs

Florida Department of Health,

Environmental Health Program

Educational Resources on Carbon Monoxide

 

The Florida Department of Health has developed short videos to educate the public about carbon monoxide. The videos, along with web-based information, describe the danger of CO poisoning as well how to prevent the build-up of carbon monoxide inside buildings.

Why is this Project Important?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas produced from the incomplete burning of fuels such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, and charcoal. If carbon monoxide builds up in the air inside a building, occupants can be harmed by breathing in the gas. According to CDC, The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion; CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” At high concentrations, acute CO exposure can cause loss of consciousness and death.

In recent years, states have enacted laws and regulations requiring the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in homes, schools, child care, and/or other public buildings as a way of alerting occupants to dangerous levels of CO indoors.

What Materials and Resources has Florida Developed to Address this Issue?

The Florida Department of Health has created a web page that addresses some of the key sources of CO inside buildings: portable generators, small gasoline engines, charcoal grills, gas stoves, portable fuel-powered space heaters, automobile exhaust from attached garages, and smoking tobacco. In addition to providing web-based information about preventing CO poisoning and about CO surveillance in Florida, the Department has created and posted on the web page two short You Tube videos: Florida Health Minute: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and Prepare: CO Generator Safety.  The videos use plain language to convey key information in less than one minute and can serve as models for creating similar resources in other states.

How Can You Learn More?

Visit the Florida Dept. of Health Carbon Monoxide web page:  

http://www.floridahealth.gov/environmental-health/carbon-monoxide/index.html

Contact the agency via email (phtoxicology@flhealth.gov) or phone (850-245-4288 or 1-800-543-8279).