Public warned of health hazards of generator use

- By Claudeth Mocon-ciriaco

Did you know that using generators at home can cause carbon monoxide poisoning which can be very lethal and can cause death in minutes?

The Department of Health (DOH) revealed that two persons died in Albay after some families used their generator sets indoors when typhoon “Ulysses” battered Bicol and other parts of Luzon.

Health Undersecre­tary Maria Rosario S. Vergeire said generator sets “emit carbon monoxide which displaces oxygen in our body.” “The gas is odorless and cannot be seen.”

At least 20 feet

Vergei re said generators should be at least 20 feet away from the house to ensure the safety of family members.

This was echoed by DOH- Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) Regional Director Eduardo C. Janairo who said owners of generator sets should make sure that these are placed safely outside and not in a confined area.

“Be sure that your unit is placed at least 20 feet away from your house, away from your windows and doors to avoid the gas getting into your home,” he said.

The DOH— Calabarzon head also issued the same warning on the use of generators at home which can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

“We have received reports of alleged carbon monoxide poisoning in the province of Rizal due to the use of generators which was placed indoors and we have already sent out our epidemiolo­gy team to investigat­e and verify the incident,” Janairo said.

Colorless, odorless

Portable back- up generators produce carbon monoxide gas which is colorless and odorless and kills without warning when inhaled at high levels.

“Also, check your sets for any leaks in its exhaust system and make sure it is properly maintained before using it. Always read the manual and follow the safety precaution­s listed,” he added.

For those using generators at home and are experienci­ng headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, confusion and vomiting, Janairo encouraged them to proceed to the nearest health facility for consultati­on.

He also warned people not to use their vehicles as a portable airconditi­oned room.

“Please do not sleep inside your vehicles as this is also dangerous to your health for it also emits carbon monoxide and you can be at risk of inhaling it,” he emphasized.

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