Carbon monoxide poisoning claimed numerous lives this winter, including 11-year-old Charlene Mechley and her father of Rice Lake Township, Minnesota
Senators reintroduced legislation that would allow the Consumer Product Safety Commission to provide support for public safety education and the installment of safe and reliable carbon monoxide detectors; bill is named after two young brothers from Kimball, MN, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Following a string of carbon monoxide poisoning deaths this winter, U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), and Bob Casey (D-PA) today renewed their push to protect families from this “silent killer.” Carbon monoxide poisoning claimed numerous lives this winter, including 11-year-old Charlene Mechley and her father of Rice Lake Township, Minnesota. The senators today announced that they have reintroduced legislation that would allow the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to provide support for public safety education and the installment of safe and reliable carbon monoxide detectors. The bill—the Nicholas and Zachary Burt Memorial Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act—is named after two young brothers from Kimball, MN, who died from carbon monoxide poisoning in 1996.
“Carbon monoxide is a silent killer that can strike without warning and claim lives if the proper precautions aren’t taken—particularly during our cold winter months,” Klobuchar said. “When temperatures go down in Minnesota, the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning goes up. My commonsense bill will raise awareness about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning while supporting the installation of detectors so that more families will be alerted to danger before it’s too late.”
“Public education and detection are the best ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, a stealthy killer that takes too many lives each year,” Schumer said. “This bill would boost both detection and education, which will help families prevent this unnecessary tragedy.”
“Pennsylvania has seen far too many accidental deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning,” Casey said. “This is a commonsense step that will help protect Pennsylvania families through increased awareness and the increased availability of monitors.”
On December 3, 2014, Charlene Mechley and her father died from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a small generator outside the trailer where they were living. Following Charlene’s death, three of her former classmates started a group to raise awareness about carbon monoxide poisoning and give out carbon monoxide detectors to local families. Representatives from Klobuchar’s office teamed up with the students to help obtain and distribute the carbon monoxide detectors.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 400 deaths and 15,000 emergency room visits as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning each year and the highest percentage of carbon monoxide exposures occurs during the winter months of November, December, January, and February. Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen whenever a fuel-burning appliance is used improperly or malfunctions; other sources include fireplaces and vehicles left running in attached garages. When gas builds up in a building, it can quickly lead to illness or even death.