Nadine Coyle and CO
- 12th November 2015
The recent revelations across the world’s press about the carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning of singing star Nadine Coyle raise many important questions. Will legislators and manufacturers now act?
Girls Aloud’s Nadine Coyle has recently been speaking publicly about her experience with carbon monoxide poisoning and about her support for the carbon monoxide awareness campaign ‘Be Alarmed’, which is jointly run by energy suppliers and charities.
“The key aspects of Nadine’s case,” said Scott Wallace, director of carbon monoxide detection specialists, Smart Compliance, “are that she was only ever exposed to low doses, and the medical practitioners she consulted didn’t consider CO poisoning as an explanation of her symptoms. In fact they were typical of long term CO exposure – tiredness, headaches, nausea, poor memory, confusion, and the fact that several people in the household were similarly affected would have appeared very significant to anyone experienced in the field.
“The plain fact is that we still have an enormous amount to do to educate the general public, and the medical profession about the dangers of carbon monoxide and the way symptoms of poisoning are manifested. And, whilst terribly tragic cases of sudden death caused by CO continue to hit the headlines, little is done about the considerable dangers of long term exposure, which experts estimate is affecting tens of thousands of people in the UK alone.”
Smart Compliance has designed and patented a unique carbon monoxide detector which, rather than simply sounding an alarm when there are life-threatening levels of CO present, constantly reports via SMS to a central database, providing a complete real-time log of CO in the household concerned. The new technology has been warmly welcomed and backed by major energy businesses such as National Grid, Wales and West Utilities and Northern Gas Networks, and local authorities around the UK are currently running trials in social housing.
“We need, as a nation, to get serious about this threat,” said Scott, “and we need more research into long-term effects of low level exposure, and more information available to doctors to allow them to recognise poisoning cases even when the doses are not immediately life-threatening.
“In September and October, for instance, hundreds of thousands of inexperienced young people returned to universities all over the UK. Do their parents know that CO levels are being monitored in their flats and bedsits? Large scale landlords have a duty of care, but ensuring detectors are fitted, and working, is hugely time consuming and expensive. We very much hope that our remote technology will enable social landlords to monitor carbon monoxide throughout their housing stock 24/7, simply by logging in to our portal from a phone.
“We’ve provided the technology here in the UK – now we need to see it taken up enthusiastically, ideally ahead of legislation since it is so long overdue.”