Welcome to the Carbon Monoxide Alliance

Our Approach: The Alliance engages a community of stakeholders from public health, medical settings, state agencies, businesses and victims. The purpose is to: 1) investigate the scope of carbon monoxide exposures, facilitators and barriers to use of CO monitors and safe home appliance use; and 2) guide the development of effective messaging and community and regional interventions: 3) Make policy recommendations to prevent future CO incidents.

Our Priorities
1) Education – increase education regarding CO safety.
2) Media – a robust media campaign regarding CO safety.
3) Policy – comparing the polices around the nation that have already been implemented to prevent CO incidents in order to implement the most  effective policies in VT and NH without “reinventing the wheel”.

Objectives for 2016-2017
1) Education – increase education regarding CO safety.
2) Media – a robust media campaign regarding CO safety.
3) Policy – comparing the polices around the nation that have already been implemented to prevent CO incidents in order to implement the most effective policies in VT and NH without “reinventing the wheel”.

Due to a recent number of fatal CO incidents in the Vermont and New Hampshire bi-state region, The Vermont-New Hampshire Alliance for Prevention of Carbon Monoxide Incidents (CO Alliance) was developed in 2015. Specifically, a close-call CO incident on September 18, 2014, motivated Norwich, Vermont resident, Norman Miller, to plant the seed for what would eventually become the CO Alliance. Since the fall of 2015, Deb Samaha MPH, RN the director of the Injury Prevention Center at Dartmouth and Ardis Olson MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Professor of Community and Family Medicine at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, have led the early stages of the CO Alliance, co-convening the monthly meetings since January 2016. The dedicated stakeholders of the CO Alliance include CO victims and representatives from public health, medicine, state agencies (e.g. division of fire safety), and businesses (e.g. fuel dealers associations). Together, the mission of the CO Alliance is to understand the preventable structural and personal causes of CO in the bi-state region and take action to remedy them.

Although the scope for the CO Alliance focuses on CO incidents in Vermont and New Hampshire (VT/NH), CO safety is a national public health issue. However, there are regional differences in types of heating systems that can increase the likelihood of CO exposure in particular regions across the Unites States. For example, fuel-based heating systems (e.g. gas, oil, kerosene, propane, wood, or charcoal) are commonly used during the cold winters in the Northeast and Midwest regions, while electric heating systems (i.e. do not produce CO) are used primarily in the South.2,7 Still, as CO is responsible for more poisoning fatalities each year than all other toxic agents, any household with a fuel-burning source has the potential to become exposed to CO.8 Thus, the efforts of the CO Alliance have both a local and national public health impact.