Pub­lic warned of health haz­ards of gen­er­a­tor use

- By Claudeth Mo­con-ciri­aco Health · Albay · Calabarzon · Cavite · Laguna province · Batangas · Quezon · Doha International Airport · Bicol Region

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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