DOH warns against using generators indoors after deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 16 2020 01:46 PM

Linemen repair electrical power lines in Albay with Mayon Volcano in the background on Nov. 3, 2020, a few days after supertyphoon Rolly battered Bicol. Power in the province may take up to two months to restore due to damage to primary lines and facilities according to Albay Power and Energy Corporation. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — The Department of Health (DOH) on Monday reiterated its warning against using generator sets indoors due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

This after a retired policeman and his daughter died after using a generator set in their house in Albay.

“Nung nagkaroon ng bagyo, merong mga pamilya sa Region 5 na naglagay ng generator sets nila sa loob ng kanilang bahay. And this had affected the family kung saan nagkaroon din ng mga namatay na myembro ng pamilya,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a virtual press briefing.

(During the last typhoon, there were families in Region 5 who placed generator sets inside their houses. And this had affected the family, resulting in death of some of their family members.)

Vergeire explained that generator sets emit carbon monoxide.

“Itong carbon monoxide… dini-displace nya ang oxygen sa katawan kaya nagkakaroon ng fatal outcomes kapag ganito,” she said.

(Carbon monoxide displaces oxygen in our body, that is why we have fatal outcomes like this.)

She warned that the gas is odorless and cannot be seen, so people are not immediately alerted of the danger.

Generator sets should be kept 20 feet away from the house, she said.

Instead of generator sets, she suggested the use of battery-powered equipment during times of calamity when there is no supply of electricity.

The DOH earlier said that people who experience headache, dizziness, shortness of breath, confusion or vomiting when using generator sets should proceed to a health facility.

The Bureau of Fire Protection is investigating the death of the two people in Tiwi, Albay over the weekend after using a generate set in their home.

The fire marshal of Tiwi said the family, who were rushed to the hospital, might have suffocated because of the generator's carbon monoxide emissions.

The town still has no electricity after the onslaught of super typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni). 

— With a report from Karren Canon

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