Carbon Monoxide Headquarters

CO Headquarters

Q and A Forum 1:

Below are Questions (Q) and Comments (C) from people around the world regarding carbon monoxide. Some have Responses (R) attached. Contact me if you would like to correspond with them.

Mar. 20, 1998
Furnace Safety
Dear Sir,
C1.Man are you RIGHT !! with your assesments. I am a Mechanical Inspector for the city of Nashua NH, pop. 80,000. My primary duties are to inspect gas piping, furnaces,boilers, wood stoves: basically anything with combustion & the products of combustion. You wouldn't believe the "horror" stories that I see. And I only get to see what have obtained a permit to install or replace. Many (unscrupulous) don't obtain permits, thus no inspections. My two most common violation to the mech code is improper venting of appliances and/or insufficient amount of combustion air provisions. Currently the state of NH has no license requirements for mechanical installers or servicemen. Which means anyone can put in a yellow pages ad and paint a van and go into business selling & installing or servicing furnaces.
Your caution about furnaces in a garage is right on the mark. The mechanical code does not prohibit installing a furnace in a garage, but I caution everyone that the filter rack and the return air side in "pulling " a negative pressure in the air handling system and it is usually not sealed. I wouldn't put one in my house.
I would like to open a line of communication with you as we have a common interest. I am very active in the Granite State chapter of ASHRAE as I am a firm proponent of indoor air quality, energy efficiency.
Bruce Buttrick

Feb. 23, 1998
Jennifer Brennan
Your fabulous resources!!
C1. I have been looking for research on carbon monoxide for days and finally bumped into your web page!!! I just wanted to say thank you!! Your hard work hasn't been overlooked!!!
Jennifer Brennan
Boston College

Mar. 9, 1998
David J. Agresti
Regarding Carbon Monoxide Warnings
Q1. I am the Building and Safety Engineer for a Beverly Hills, CA corporate office. I see signage posted in parking garages warning "pregnant women" about CO. I have seen many different signs and was wondering how should my signs be labeled. This is what I have so far: (I need some sort of law, code, or statute to back it up, can you assist)
David Agresti

March 10, 1998
Dear Mr. Agresti:
R1. You ask very interesting questions. The wording of your signs are essentially correct. I do not know the CA statute relating to CO exposure, especially in pregnant women. I suggest you phone the CA OSHA or outside air quality office. A call to an office of the Environmental Protection Agency may also be informative. Please let me know what you find out. I am very interested, since my area of specialty in CO toxicology is in the effects of CO on the developing fetus.
Thanks for contacting me.
Dr. David G. Penney

Mar. 6, 1998
Jimmy McWilliams
CO Detectors in Every Home
Dr. Penney:
C1. I work as a Personnel/Training Coordinator for a small Lowe's store in a rural community of around 20,000 population. Last year our store won the inaugural Lowe's Heroes Contest by involving community organizations and raising enough money to place over 700 smoke detectors in the homes of Senior Citizens in Natchitoches Parish and Natchitoches, Louisiana. We were in a Lowe's Company-Wide sponsored contest and we are the smallest store in the company.
It is our goal in this year's Heroes Contest to start where we left off last year and place Carbon Monoxide Detectors in the homes of as many Senior Citizens as we can possibly reach. Lowe's Home Safety Council will grant us up to $2,000 to work on this project and we hopefully can do an area-wide fund raiser that will more than double the $2,000.
Q1. Do you have any articles that would help us in our publicity and fund-raising effort to inform the citizens of Natchitoches Parish of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning? Do you have any suggestions that you would share with us on accomplishing our goal? Last year we placed two smoke detectors per home. It is our goal to place one Carbon Monoxide Detector per home and have the local Fire Departments to advise of the best location for installation. We will need to raise enough funds to place around 400 Carbon Monoxide Detectors.
I was fortunate to find your name and e-mail address on the internet. I look forward to hearing from a man who has devoted so much time and energy to studying the effects of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Your information can help us protect the Senior Citizens of Natchitoches Parish from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. Please reply to my e-mail or send information to:
Thank you,
Jimmy McWilliams
Personnel/Training Coordinator

March 9, 1998
Dear Mr. McWilliams:
R1. Thank you for your letter. I really appreciate the work you are doing in the community. You might take a look at my new book, "CARBON MONOXIDE", or better yet, you are welcome to use any materials you find in COHQ. As you know the URL is Good luck with your work.
Dr. D. Penney

Dec. 19, 1997
Donald R. Graham, MD
Developing Clinical Information Site
Dear Dr Penney:
Q1. Our emergency medicine group in Northern Virginia is redesigning our web page. We presently have a very immature site and frankly has been in need of an update for some time. We are incorporating into our site some rotating topics of interest and one of the topics is CO poisoning. It appears to be a labor of love for you (ie. COHQ). I'm VERY impressed with the work you appear to have done with this substance. Wood stoves of course are popular and an ever increasing danger to the unaware - of which there are always plenty. SO......... one of our winter topics is CO Poisoning. Instead of reinventing the wheel here I would love to include a hyperlink from our web page to your COHQ page and would readily do this with your permission. I can be reached at for comments yea or nay. Hoping on the yea side though! I appreciate your time.
Donald R Graham, MD, FACEP
Virginia Emergency Medicine Associates
Warrenton, VA

Dear Dr. Graham:
R1. You pay me a great compliment. Please DO set up a hyper-link at your site to CO HQ. Please keep watching as we add additional materials to the site.
Thanks again.
David G. Penney

Thank you for your permission to link to COHQ. I'm impressed with the gaseous nature of your site. I was pretty surprised actually to know that there were so many potentially deadly problems around and about. Anyway after setting up our site myself I know just how difficult it is. Our current site is and is very rudimentary. In the next few months we will have a really glitzy site.
Thank you again.

Jan. 20, 1998
Eric Shapiro
Quick CO Measurement
Q1. I read your package from the Internet on carbon monoxide. It is extremely interesting and very thorough. One issue that I am not clear on is how long it actually takes to determine if an individual is suffering from CO poisoning. Would a test that could be applied on the spot (in emergencies), as opposed to at the hospital, be of any value with this problem? Does a test that can be applied on the spot already exist?

R1. Such a device would be extremely useful if it was widely used.

Jan. 26, 1998
Trey Martinat
Kerosene Heaters
Dear Sir;
I want to thank you for all the information you are providing on the internet concerning carbon monoxide. I am a seventh grade student at Heritage Middle School in Valdese, North Carolina. I have chosen to do my science experiment on carbon monoxide and where it can be found and the causes. We live at the foothills of the Appalachian mountains and due to economic conditions - a lot of people in the area live in small homes and often use kerosene heaters as an extra source of heat. We also have a lot of ice storms which often causes the loss of power and people use the heaters as well as other methods of fuel burning in order to stay warm. I have learned more than I have ever imagined concerning the dangers of carbon monoxide. My dad bought me a Nighthawk meter with a digital readout so we could check levels in the garage with a car, a generator, charcoal, and a kerosene heater - unbelievable how fast the CO levels rose in such a short time. I have contacted the local fire depts as well as the gas companies to see if they would offer some sort of public awareness campaign to let people know the dangers. I had no idea how dangerous and how common CO is to find. Thanks for all your work on CO.
Q1. I know you are very busy - but if you have any ideas for me to explore or information that would be of more help I really will appreciate it.
I would also like to reference your website on my project and to show the picture of you and your research if that is ok with you.
Thanks, Trey

R1.Dear Trey. Thank you very much for your fine letter. I appreciate kind comments about the work we have done in attempting to alert people to the danger of CO. I would be interested if you could find out how much CO is produced by the kerosene heaters used in your area. You have my permission to use anything off our site. Thanks again.

Jan. 11, 1998
Diane Dobson
AIM Safety Co. Site
Dr. Penney,
Q1. Once again I am impressed with your site. I visited about a year or so ago and either recommended to AIM Safety Co. that they contact you, or I sent you E-mail about AIM's CO detector, I can't remember which. I hope that it was I that got you "linked" up with AIM. Anyway, I am a distributor of AIM products as well as a volunteer fire fighter. I have a bachelor of Science in Forensic and Toxicological Chemistry and I use to be employed by AIM. I teach many firefighters and my local community about the dangers of CO and how to monitor for its presence. I am always looking for scientific information about CO and not just the sales hype contained in many sites. While I may not be the most agressive sales person, I pride myself on accuracy and honesty. I feel more comfortable educating, rather than selling.
The reason I am writing is to ask permission to link to your site and hope that you will provide a reciprical link. I am in the process of updating my site and hoped to add much more technical data. You have saved me most of the effort, if you will be so kind as to allow the link.
Thank you for your time.
Diane Dobson

Dear Ms. Dobson:
R1. I appreciate your kind comments. We have attempted to make COHQ the best source of information on carbon monoxide on the web. We are told by people all over the world that it probably is. You of course have my permission to set up a link. Good luck.
Dr. D. Penney

...... last changed 04/10/98

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