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House Passes Lifesaving Carbon Monoxide Detector Bill


April 1, 2004

The Alaska House of Representatives passed HB 351 sponsored by Palmer Representative Carl Gatto. This bill requires carbon monoxide detection devices to be installed in residences and dwellings.

HB 351 adds carbon monoxide detection devices to the requirement in Alaska State Statute (AS 18.70.095) that homeowners install carbon monoxide detectors in addition to smoke detectors and adds that landlords shall install the devices to be maintained by their tenants.

"This bill will help save lives and keep Alaskans healthy," said Representative Gatto (R-Palmer). "This bill is important to the health and welfare of our families and I am proud to be sponsoring this legislation."

"The recent deaths of all five members of an Anchorage family from carbon monoxide poisoning in their home has prompted introduction of this bill," said Representative Max Gruenberg (D-Anchorage). "Representative Gatto and I have co-introduced this bill in a bipartisan manner to help save lives and to prevent CO injuries."

"Carbon monoxide is invisible to the human senses," continued Representative Gruenberg. "It is odorless, tasteless, colorless, and non-irritating. And children are especially at risk when exposed to even low levels of carbon monoxide. Without a CO detector, one doesn't know they are being poisoned."

Without the carbon monoxide detectors in place one can be slowly poisoned over a long period of time and not know it. Children with their higher metabolic rate are more easily poisoned than adults and can suffer learning deficiencies as well as neurological damage.

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning in America annually and is responsible for 40,000 visits to the Emergency Rooms.

HB 351 now moves to the Senate for consideration.



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Alaska Republicans
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Alaska Democrats
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