House passes carbon monoxide safety bill

August 5, 2010

A bill aimed at reducing carbon monoxide poisoning was passed by the House on July 29 and sent to the Senate for consideration.

The Residential Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act (H.R. 1796) seeks to establish the American National Standard for Single and Multiple Station Carbon Monoxide Alarms as a mandatory safety standard. The legislation would make it illegal for manufacturers or distributors to import or distribute any new detector that does not comply with the standard, and would require all portable generators to be sold with warnings about the risks of CO poisoning.

The bill also would establish a grant program for states and municipalities to enact laws requiring CO alarms in new residences. The Consumer Product Safety Commission would be in charge of oversight.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CO poisoning kills more than 400 Americans and sends an additional 20,000 to emergency rooms for treatment every year.