Fatal Unintentional Non-Fire Related Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Data from Narrative Verdicts in England and Wales, 1998–2019

Rebecca M. Close*, Neelam Iqbal, Sarah J. Jones, Andrew Kibble, Robert J. Flanagan, Helen Crabbe, Giovanni S. Leonardi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Unintentional non-fire related (UNFR) carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning continues to cause fatalities. The narrative verdicts from coroners concerning fatal UNFR CO poisoning in England and Wales, 1998–2019, were collated by the Office for National Statistics. Search terms related to CO exposure were used to obtain information regarding the circumstances of death. Findings were grouped by the location of death, the source of CO, and the reason or behaviour underlying the exposure. There were 750 deaths (77% male). The annual number of deaths decreased over the period studied. Two thirds (68%) of the deaths occurred in the autumn or winter. From the records with information, 59% of deaths occurred within a dwelling (67% male). Males also predominated deaths within vehicles (91%) and garages or outbuildings (95%). From the deaths with information, domestic piped gas was the most common source of CO (36%) and the most frequent underlying factor was inadequate ventilation of exhaust gases (39%, 91% male). Despite the decrease in the annual number of deaths over the study period, there remains a clear need for measures that raise awareness of the dangers of CO poisoning, especially amongst men working alone in garages or outbuildings. Education campaigns and fitting and maintaining CO alarms in high-risk areas should be encouraged.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4099
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information: This research received no external funding.

Open Access: This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and
conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Citation: Close, R.M.; Iqbal, N.; Jones, S.J.; Kibble, A.; Flanagan, R.J.; Crabbe, H.; Leonardi, G.S. Fatal Unintentional Non-Fire Related Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Data from Narrative Verdicts in England and Wales, 1998–2019. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19, 4099.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074099

Keywords

  • CO
  • carbon monoxide
  • environmental epidemiology
  • environmental public health
  • preventing CO poisoning
  • unintentional death
  • unintentional poisoning

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