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Carbon Monoxide - Leaflet aims to highlight the dangers from the Silent Killer


07 Oct 2013


Climate & Environment

Every year, carbon monoxide (CO) kills more people in Europe than HIV/Aids, alcohol abuse and skin cancer, and yet hundreds of thousands of people are unaware of its deadly potential.

This is the message in a new leaflet that has just been published by Consumer Safety International (CSI) and ANEC, the European consumer voice in standardisation.

Focusing on the ‘Silent Killer’, the leaflet explains how carbon monoxide gas has no colour, taste or smell and strikes without warning. It kills thousands of people throughout Europe each and every year.

When carbon-based fuels, including gas, oil, wood and coal, do not burn properly, CO gas is produced. When it enters the body, CO prevents the blood from bringing oxygen to cells, tissues, and organs causing brain damage and/or death.

The leaflet gives simple tips to recognise and prevent CO intoxication, and gives guidance on what to do in case of a CO poisoning.

Stephen Russell, ANEC Secretary General commented: “The start of the autumn is a critical period for CO poisoning as consumers start to heat their homes again. This leaflet provides common-sense tips which should help ensure that consumers are aware of the silent killer and that they spread the word in order to prevent further fatalities”.

Molly Maher, President of CSI, said: “Despite the large number of avoidable deaths, many people throughout Europe are still not aware of the potential dangers from CO poisoning. I know from the tragedy I experienced in my own family that a high level exposure is usually fatal. Low level exposure can cause irreversible brain damage. It is urgent and vital that more publicity is given to the dangers of CO poisoning. We hope this leaflet will go some way to fulfilling that need.”


About ANEC

ANEC is the European consumer voice in standardisation, defending consumer interests in the processes of technical standardisation and conformity assessment, as well as related legislation and public policies.

ANEC was established in 1995 as an international non-profit association under Belgian law and is open to the representation of national consumer organisations in 33 countries.

ANEC is funded by the European Union and EFTA, with national consumer organisations contributing in kind. Its Secretariat is based in Brussels.




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