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Media Advisory

For Immediate Release: August 12, 2004
Contact: Media Relations (404) 639-3286

CDC Announces Carbon Monoxide Poisoning PSAs

CDC has developed four radio public service announcements (PSAs), which local radio stations can use during power outages to inform the public about potential dangers associated with carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

Power outages may occur during natural disasters, such as Tropical Storm Bonnie and Hurricane Charley, which are currently threatening Florida's coast. When outages occur, people often try to use alternative methods of heating, cooking and electricity, unintentionally causing harm to themselves and their families because of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Every year, more than 500 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by small gasoline engines, stoves, generators, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood, and gas ranges. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces. People and animals in these spaces can be poisoned by breathing it.

The 30- and 15-second public service announcements are available in English and Spanish. CDC encourages radio stations to download the PSAs free from (scroll down to "Public Service Announcements for Carbon Monoxide"). Other broadcast and print media can also use the information in the PSAs to alert their viewers and readers.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death. During power outages it is especially important that the public be informed about the dangers of carbon monoxide associated with alternative heat and energy sources.


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