Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Remedy could block CO risk
by Melinda Williams
Feb 06, 2009 | 5940 views | 1 1 comments | 53 53 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WOODS CROSS — Davis County families are in danger of being killed by carbon monoxide poisoning because of the way their homes are built, according to a Bountiful man.

Dr. Jay L. Bishop, a scientist and Bountiful resident, said building codes usually require that sources of breathing air be at least 12 feet from furnace exhaust vents, but hundreds of homes throughout Utah and thousands nationwide leave only three feet from furnace exhausts.

Bishop warns that often smoke, fire and CO alarms, while available in many brands, will not signal an alarm until the danger is far too late for the building’s occupants to have an opportunity to escape.

He said in the case of a CO alarm, it is most helpful to have a digital readout of the actual CO concentration, and for the monitor to be placed where that concentration can be read every time someone passes by. Such a location, he said, might be at eye level in the hallway leading to the bedrooms.

Bishop said such a monitor should be set to alarm if 50-100 parts per million is sustained for 30 seconds, not 440 ppm held for 15 minutes, as one of the most well known brands does.

The homes most often affected are factory-built (federal Housing and Urban Development) homes, Bishop said, often used for victims of natural disasters or other emergencies.

But they are often also used by some industries, churches and other organizations as field offices or temporary quarters. “Nearly all manufacturers of such modular homes copy the faulty design of HUD... causing occupants to breathe high levels of poisonous carbon monoxide,” he warned.

And some mobile homes have the same problem.

Federal law requires breathing air to have no more than 50 ppm in a workplace, and for longer hours on the job, the 10-hour weighted average allows only 38 ppm.

Bishop first became aware of the problem about five years ago, when a Bountiful family, in a home which wasn’t built by HUD, suffered the death of their youngest child because of CO poisoning, which was later tested at more than 200 ppm.

At the time, Bishop said the state rejected the test’s findings.

Those suffering CO poisoning will have flu-like symptoms — headache, fatigue, nausea, dizziness and shortness of breath, according to the United States Consumer Safety Commission.

“High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including: mental confusion, vomiting, loss of muscular coordination, loss of consciousness and untimely death,” according to the CSC’s website.

They report that on average about 170 Americans die yearly from CO produced by nonautomotive sources, which includes not only furnaces, but also stoves, water heaters and room heaters.

Bishop believes many people who think they have the flu are actually suffering the effects of CO poisoning.

He said those who are suffering flu-like symptoms should “flush the air out of their house as fast as they can.”

He said those living in homes with air vents only 3-5 feet from furnace exhaust can temporarily remedy the situation, by removing the cap from the intake air vent and tieing a plastic bag or taping a plastic lid over it; opening a window 1/2 inch on the side of the house opposite the exhausts to let the fresh air in.

Then, a permanent remedy is to reroute the air intake from a source at least 12 feet from the exhausts. Bishop said this is easily accomplished and most people can do it with the help of a friend.

He said if the rerouted source is on the roof, it should be no higher than the rising warm air exhausts.

The danger, Bishop said, is even higher if snow covers the vents. Then a cavity forms beneath the snow and all the furnace or water heater exhaust goes into the breathing intake port.

Bishop would also like state governments nationwide to require all such unsafe homes in the state be corrected by the owners.

He’d also like state regulators to ask CO alarm manufacturers to provide a model for $15 or less which will set off an alarm if 50 ppm is sustained for 30 seconds. This will also allow the owner to set the alarm at a preferred ppm level.

More information is available at

Comments-icon Post a Comment
February 08, 2009
As Carbon Monoxide creates hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) in the brain (like alcohol intoxication) the victim loses sense of self, time, discomfort (as with a potent pain killer), and more critical, a sense of danger, specifically to self or other individuals (children, handicapped or elderly) within his/her presence or care. That is what is so insidious about being poisoned by Carbon Monoxide. The victims, living in varying levels of functional dream state, usually do not recognize their own poisoning impairment. That is why it took my intervention as an unaffected outside observer and professional to identify the classic symptoms of poisoning in an also-poisoned father, David Conrad as he called me when his only conscious concern was the fact that the State was threatening to take away his child, and he had remembered my success in getting children restored, or had prevented their removal by the State. It was fortunate for David, his infant, Mary and their other children, that he called me instead of someone else, as I, with my pathology experience, immediately recognized the symptoms, and within 3 more days, the precise cause of his infant's and David's own malaise, which he as the infants attending father, being poisoned himself, could not recognize. Then by me using all my resources and calling in my friends as second witnesses, immediately after I identified the cause (as I had in previous cases, in enlisting my political and professional friends, including Sen. Parley Hellewell (HVAC), Sen. Margret Dayton (RN), my dear friend an fellow scientists including Dr Jay Bishop, and Heating and Air Conditioning professionals including Todd Mortensen and many unnamed others to witness, understand, support and defend an innocent unwittingly-poisoned family), I prevented their continued poisoning, while the State and its Medical contractors ignored me and my legislative associates, and was about to let the family and their fragile infant return to further poisoning had I not intervened. Thomas L Rodgers -- See or
Postings are not edited and are the responsibility of the author. You agree not to post comments that are abusive, threatening or obscene. Postings may be removed at the discretion of
Follow us on: