Citing numerous carbon monoxide (CO) poisonings throughout California in the last year, including nine people being poisoned and sent to the hospital on Feb. 18 due to carbon monoxide exposure in Tahoe City, State Sen. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) has introduced S.B. 1386 which will require that all homes in California be equipped with a working CO detector by 2010.
State health records show that there were 210 fatal CO poisonings between 1999 and 2004 in California. In addition, the California Air Resources Board reports that unintentional CO poisoning causes up to 700 avoidable emergency room visits every year.
“At least 15 states and 11 other major municipalities across the nation have enacted laws to mandate the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in homes or other types of structures,” Lowenthal said. “I think it is time for California to join this growing trend.”
The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) announced that it is helping to champion the legislation. Working through lobbyists in the state, NEMA is forming a coalition of support that includes professional firefighters, senior citizens’ advocacy groups, public health professionals, electrical workers, and air quality advocates. The California Senate Committee on Transportation and Housing, chaired by Sen. Lowenthal, has scheduled a hearing on S.B. 1386 for April 1, and the Committee on Governmental Organization has scheduled a hearing on the bill for April 8.