An accumulation of
dryer lint is being blamed for an elevated carbon monoxide level on Tuesday
in a residence on Texas Street, the Chesterton Fire Department said.
Capt. Tony Coslet
told the Chesterton Tribune today that, at 6:56 p.m., firefighters
were dispatched to a home in the 2600 block of Texas Street after a CO alarm
a “slightly elevated level” of carbon monoxide in the home, Coslet said,
around 36 parts per million.
subsequently determined that an accumulation of lint in the dryer’s lint
trap was preventing the machine from properly venting to the outside,
causing a build-up of CO in the laundry room.
The risk of CO
poisoning is only one good reason to regularly clean your lint trap, Coslet
said. Another is the risk of fire, as the heat generated by a dryer has a
tendency to ignite big clumps of lint in the trap.
A lethal exposure
to the colorless, odorless gas--a byproduct of incomplete
combustion--depends greatly both on the concentration of CO in a given space
and on the length of exposure, Coslet noted. A relatively low concentration
can nonetheless be dangerous if a person is exposed to it for many hours.
inhibits the body’s ability to absorb oxygen, Coslet said. Symptoms of CO
poisoning include lightheadedness, confusion, and headaches. In a lethal
case of poisoning, a person dies of oxygen starvation.