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https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20150&cosponId=16702
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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: January 15, 2015 10:51 AM
From: Representative Mark Mustio
To: All House members
Subject: Carbon Monoxide Detectors In Residential Facilities for Care Dependent Individuals
 
In the near future, I will be re-introducing legislation known as “The Care Facility Carbon Monoxide Alarm Standards Act”. (HB 2438 of 13/14 Session).

I am introducing this legislation on behalf of my constituent who placed her elderly parents in a residential care facility so she could rest assured that her parents would be well cared for and safe, while maintaining a sense of normalcy.

The facility that my constituent chose to care for her mother and father had a furnace malfunction that produced carbon monoxide fumes. Both parents were taken to the hospital and were unresponsive. Blood tests revealed high levels of carbon monoxide. Even though the parents had chronic medical issues, they both passed away within a three week period of time due to the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning. You would think that residential facilities such as nursing and personal care homes would be required to have carbon monoxide detectors, but unfortunately, that is not the case.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas found in combustion fumes that can cause sudden illness or death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). It is produced by the incomplete combustion of organic fossil fuels such as oil, gas, or coal. If there is a lack of air during the combustion process or if a heating appliance is faulty, carbon monoxide can be produced. When inhaled, carbon monoxide combines with the blood and prevents it from absorbing oxygen.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of accidental deaths in America. It kills about 430 people each year and an additional 20,000 to 30,000 people become ill from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. The carbon monoxide poisoning rate is highest among people over the age of 65. Therefore, it is imperative that we protect the residents of our state’s long-term care facilities.

Under my legislation, care facilities including long-term care nursing facilities, personal care homes and assisted living residences who utilize fossil fuel heating sources which emit carbon monoxide as a byproduct of combustion must install alarms in their facilities. The carbon monoxide alarms would become part of the annual inspection process for licensure renewal by those respective agencies.

The Pennsylvania Health Care Association, Center for Assisted Living Management, supports the re-introduction of the agreed to legislative language included in the redraft of House Bill 2438 (PN 3981) of last session, and will provide a letter of support as soon as the bill is reintroduced.

I feel it is imperative that we protect our most vulnerable citizens from this silent killer.

mm:jmm


Previous Co-sponsors: MUSTIO , WATSON , HENNESSEY , PICKETT , GINGRICH , CALTAGIRONE , MAJOR , READSHAW , KOTIK , MILLARD , NEILSON, BISHOP , V. BROWN, McNEILL, DAVIDSON, MARSHALL , BOBACK , SWANGER , JAMES, D. COSTA, COHEN , MURT , R. BROWN, DeLUCA and PETRI



Introduced as HB264