According to a local fire official, seven people fell ill after they were exposed to a carbon monoxide leak in a Mattapan home on Wednesday afternoon. Two of the victims were reportedly children. As of yesterday evening, reports The Boston Globe, all of the victims except for one woman, who was being treated for an unrelated condition, had been released from the hospital.
Boston EMS said that the CO exposure was likely triggered while a worker was fixing the triple-decker residence’s heating unit. Also, there were a couple of carbon monoxide detectors missing from the building while another one didn’t have batteries. Following the evacuation of the residents, the company that had been working on the unit tightened a lose duct that may have been the source of the gas leak.
Too much exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal, and with the cold weather now here, this is the time of year when the number of leaks rises. While CO is emitted any time something is burned and this generally isn’t a problem as long as ventilation isn’t an issue, danger can occur should the gas build up in an enclosed space and/or when ventilation is poor. The reason that the winter months is a time when CO poisoning incidents go up is that this is when many Americans use fireplaces, furnaces, water heaters, gas cooking stoves, and space heaters-appliances that emit carbon monoxide.
CO is a gas that has no smell or color so victims usually don’t know when they’ve been exposed. Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms can also be deceptive: headache, a feverless flu, nausea, breath shortness, dizziness, and fatigue. Exposure to a high concentration of CO can render a person unconscious, and may even prove fatal. The elderly, infants, and people whose red blood counts are low or who are suffering from respiratory or heart conditions are at greater risk of serious effects from CO poisoning.
Depending on what happened, you may have grounds for Boston personal injury case against the owner of the property where the CO poisoning occurred, the manufacturer of the appliance that leaked the gas, or a maintenance company that played a role in allowing the leak to happen. Failure by a property owner to install working CO detectors that are supposed to warn when a leak has happened can also be a reason to file a Massachusetts premises liability lawsuit if serious injuries or a death occurred.
Winter Heating Safety Alert: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention, American Red Cross
Seven people sickened after carbon monoxide exposure, The Boston Globe, December 5, 2012
More Blog Posts:
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Sends Boston Mother and Kids to Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, January 23, 2012
Boston Family Suffers Carbon Monoxide Exposure, Boston Injury Lawyer Blog, January 23, 2012
Massachusetts Manufacturer Cited by OSHA for 34 Safety Violations, Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Blog, May 21, 2009
To find out whether you have grounds for a Boston CO poisoning lawsuit, contact Altman & Altman, LLP today.