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Carbon Monoxide: Poisoning

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 17th March 2010.

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Photo of Tom Levitt Tom Levitt Labour, High Peak

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what steps she plans to take to reduce the incidence of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Photo of Jonathan R Shaw Jonathan R Shaw Minister of State (Disabled People), Regional Affairs, Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Disabled People), Department for Work and Pensions

The primary focus of Government work to reduce the incidence of carbon monoxide poisoning is to ensure that consumers use competent engineers to undertake work on their appliances. The Gas Safe Register, established by HSE in 2009, provides consumers with a clear route to find competent engineers and works to promote better public awareness of gas safety risks and the dangers arising from carbon monoxide. Since 1 April 2009 the Gas Safe Register have been undertaking a significant gas safety and carbon monoxide awareness raising campaign aimed at consumers, including national TV and online advertising, coverage on consumer programmes and national and regional radio and newspaper reporting.

There are other complementary Government work streams relating to carbon monoxide, including the Department for Communities and Local Government's recent consultation on amendments to the Building Regulations which proposed the compulsory installation of carbon monoxide alarms when a new or replacement solid fuel appliances are installed, a Health Protection Agency's study to assess the effectiveness of campaigns in increasing the knowledge of CO and Department of Health research into the long term effects of exposure to carbon monoxide.

Additionally, the Cross Government Group on gas safety and CO awareness, which covers all combustion fuels, aims to share knowledge and information and develop effective strategies to improve gas safety and tackle carbon monoxide risks from all fuels.

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