ND Winter Weather Awareness Week - Indoor Air

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GRAND FORKS ND
829 AM CDT FRI NOV 2 2007

...WINTER WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK...DAY FIVE...

INDOOR AIR HAZARDS...

CARBON MONOXIDE FACTS...
- CARBON MONOXIDE IS A COLORLESS...ODORLESS GAS.  IT RESULTS
       FROM THE INCOMPLETE BURNING OF NATURAL GAS...OIL...WOOD...
       KEROSENE...CHARCOAL AND OTHER FUELS...UNDER CONDITIONS
       WHERE THERE IS NOT ENOUGH OXYGEN PRESENT.
- EXPOSURE TO LOW LEVELS OF CARBON MONOXIDE CAN CAUSE FLU-LIKE
       SYMPTOMS...SUCH AS HEADACHES...NAUSEA...DIZZINESS...
       DROWSINESS...WEAKNESS AND SHORTNESS OF BREATH.
       HIGHER LEVELS CAN RESULT IN UNCONSCIOUSNESS OR DEATH.
- CARBON MONOXIDE IS MOST LIKELY TO ACCUMULATE INSIDE HOMES
       DURING WINTER...WHEN THE HEATING SYSTEM IS IN USE AND
       THE HOME HAS BEEN SEALED AND INSULATED AGAINST THE COLD.
- CARBON MONOXIDE CAN ACCUMULATE FROM...
       WOOD STOVES...FIREPLACES OR CHARCOAL GRILLS.
       FURNACES...WATER HEATERS...BOILERS
       GAS COOKING STOVES AND CLOTHES DRYERS.
       GAS OR KEROSENE SPACE HEATERS.
       AUTOMOBILE EXHAUST

CARBON MONOXIDE SAFETY...
- MAKE SURE YOUR HEATING SYSTEM AND ALL FUEL BURNING APPLIANCES
       ARE ADEQUATELY VENTED AND MAINTAINED.
- MAKE SURE YOUR FURNACE HAS AN ADEQUATE AIR INTAKE.
- DO NOT USE GAS STOVES OR OVENS TO HEAT LIVING AREAS.
- HAVE A QUALIFIED TECHNICIAN INSTALL AND CHECK FURNACES AND
       ALL FUEL-BURNING APPLIANCES.
- INSTALL A UL-LISTED CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTOR...ONE WHICH
       SOUNDS AN ALARM.

OTHER INDOOR HAZARDS AND SAFETY INFORMATION...
- MOLD EXPOSURE CAN BE A SPECIAL PROBLEM DURING WINTER...WHEN
       HOMES ARE SEALED UP.  ENOUGH MOLD SPORES CAN CONTRIBUTE
       TO ASTHMA...ALLERGIES AND OTHER HEALTH PROBLEMS.
- MOLDS NEED AN AMPLE SUPPLY OF MOISTURE.  YOUR HOME MAY BE AT
       RISK IF YOU HAD FLOODING...A LEAKY ROOF...ICE DAMS...
       A DAMP BASEMENT...OR CHRONIC PLUMBING LEAKS.
- RADON CAN SOMETIMES ENTER HOMES FROM THE SURROUNDING SOIL
       AND ACCUMULATE IN LIVING AREAS...ESPECIALLY DURING WINTER.
       HAVE YOUR HOME TESTED USING EQUIPMENT THAT CAN TAKE AVERAGE
       READINGS OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME.
- IF ASBESTOS-CONTAINING MATERIAL IS DISTURBED BY REMODELING...
       SOMETHING OFTEN DONE DURING WINTER...TINY FIBERS CAN BE
       RELEASED TO THE SURROUNDING AIR.  SOME PRODUCTS CONTAINED
       ASBESTOS UP TO THE MID 1980S.  REPAIR OR ENCAPSULATE
       THE DAMAGED MATERIAL USING HARDWARE SUPPLIES...OR HIRE A
       STATE-LICENSED CONTRACTOR TO REMOVE OR ENCAPSULATE IT.

REMEMBER...PLENTY OF FRESH AIR IS IMPORTANT TO GOOD HEALTH...AT ALL
TIMES OF THE YEAR. IN WINTERTIME...FRESH AIR IS USUALLY QUITE COLD
AND DRY. THAT MEANS THAT INDOOR AIR SYSTEMS MAY NEED TO HEAT AND
HUMIDIFY ANY OUTSIDE SOURCES OF AIR FOR COMFORT AND HEALTH.  MAKE
SURE THESE SYSTEMS ARE OPERATING AT THEIR BEST...SO YOU CAN OPERATE
AT YOUR BEST.

AND HAVE A WONDERFUL AND SAFE WINTER WEATHER SEASON.


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