Chesterton Tribune



Blocked dryer lint trap leads dangerous to CO buildup in Chesterton home

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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 was activated.

Firefighters found a “slightly elevated level” of carbon monoxide in the home, Coslet said, around 36 parts per million.

Firefighters 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.

Carbon monoxide 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.



Posted 3/11/2015




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