Pilot of floatplane probably affected by carbon monoxide – 6 dead

Please see https://7news.com.au/news/nsw/aviation-authority-issues-carbon-monoxide-warning-following-crash-investigation-c-1142382 

This floatplane crash happened in 2017 yet it seems that only after all other causes of the crash had been investigated was carbon monoxide poisoning suspected and tested for in March 2020. Why did it take so long?

There is a call for sensors – even small sensors that cost only a couple of ££ (mainly used by pilots of small planes) but of course the aviation industry is stalling. Pilots seem reluctant to buy their own but it’s their lives as well as their passengers so surely it’s worth their while to buy them?

It’s not just CO – there is a “cocktail” of toxic substances making it impossible to nail the health damage down to only one substance. EASA tested 127 substances present. https://www.aerotoxicteam.com/easa-list.html.

Medical testing and info for professionals kindly provided by Bearnairdine Beaumont – she hopes that perhaps some of it will be useful.


Symptoms of CO being confused with Covid-19

Please read https://www.eveningtelegraph.co.uk/fp/mum-recovering-from-pneumonia-claimed-angus-council-initially-refused-to-fix-gas-because-they-believed-she-had-coronavirus/

Our concern has always been that symptoms of carbon  monoxide (CO) can be confused with symptoms of any virus. The fact that the gas emergency service lacks the equipment to test the air or gas appliances for CO is obviously now even more worrying. We have raised this issue with IGEM and the GDNs who run the gas emergency service.

Due to CO leaving the blood and breath quickly in a survivor, testing a person’s blood or breath for CO can produce the danger of a false negative.

The First Call Operators (FCO) from the gas emergency service do wear Personal Alarm Monitors (PAMs) for CO but when someone calls the gas emergency service s/he is told to turn off the appliances, open the windows and get out. Therefore by the time the FCO arrives the CO will usually have disappeared. So PAMs protect the FCOs, but not the consumers. 

Stephanie has written to IGEM and the GDNs (who run the gas emergency service) about the fact that the lack of testing of the air or the emissions from the gas appliances has always been needed but with Covid-19, testing the environment is even more vital.

Sad News

Co-founder of CO-Gas Safety and President and Director of Consumer Safety International, Molly Maher, very sadly died on Thursday 23rd April 2020.

Molly courageously campaigned after the death of her son, Gary from unintentional carbon monoxide (CO) from a gas water heater in Tenerife in 1985. Her daughter, Sheree was poisoned in the same incident and was paralysed for a year, becoming a wheelchair user. Sheree admirably retained her sharp brain and zest for life.

Molly spent many years raising awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Her great cry was ‘keep a window open’. She tried to persuade those in the tourist industry, hoteliers, the fuel industry and governments in the UK and Spain to raise awareness, service properly, ensure ventilation and install CO alarms. Many people both abroad and in the UK, owe their health and their lives to Molly’s work, yet have no idea that they do.

Molly was told by the authorities in Tenerife that there were CO problems in the UK.  At first she didn’t believe them and maintained that in the UK there was the Health & Safety Executive. However, she was shocked to find that indeed there were huge problems in the UK and all over the world. Indeed, even in the UK, there is still a lack of awareness of the dangers of CO from all fuels, a lack of a test of the air or appliances for CO by the gas emergency service and a lack of specific support for victims/survivors of CO, who can rarely prove poisoning.

Along with the now late David Jenkins of RoSPA and Nigel Griffiths, then an MP, Molly founded CO-Gas Safety, which was launched at the House of Commons on the 25th January 1995. This was an independent, registered charity as was CSI. CO-Gas Safety, headed by Stephanie Trotter, looked exclusively at CO and other gas dangers. CO-Gas Safety worked to reduce deaths and injuries from unintentional carbon monoxide and other gas dangers and to help victims and their families.

CSI covers all holiday dangers. Molly and Stephanie had met while Stephanie was campaigning for children’s activity holiday centres to be licensed after an injury, a clot on the brain, was suffered by Stephanie’s son Alex, aged 12 in 1992 while at a sailing centre. Molly helped Stephanie with this campaign because CSI was all about safer holidays. This campaign to license children’s activity holidays in the UK was thankfully successful and there is now the Activity Centres (Young Persons’ Safety) Act 1995. Sadly scouts etc. and university students are still not covered, despite Stephanie’s pleas that they should be.

Stephanie learned a great deal about campaigning from Molly, how difficult it is and how much of a roller coast experience it is. Molly never stopped campaigning and her courage and determination will be greatly missed.

The struggle to do what most people assume is done but isn’t, to put in place what most people say is just common sense, continues. But true campaigners have lost an inspiration; CO-Gas Safety has lost a founder with guts.

Frank Brehany, who ran Holiday Travel Watch and has known Molly as long as Stephanie has put out a press release which he has kindly shared with CO-Gas Safety


Sian Overton makes a film about her older sister Katie dying of CO

Sian Overton, is the younger sister of Katie Overton. Katie died of CO in 2003 aged eleven and a half. Sian was then only seven years old. Sian describes her memory of what happened and how it affected her life and the whole family.

The film ends with a plea that this must not happen to anyone else and provides advice on how to prevent such a tragedy.

Press Pack 2020 was put on our website on 25.01.20

We haven’t printed it yet. We are making a few changes so will hope to have the amended version on the website very soon with printing starting on 18th February. Do please let us know if you spot any howlers or would prefer us to change anything before we print. Please email me office@co-gassafety.co.uk or if urgent please phone 07803 088688. Thank you very much indeed.

25th January 2020 – CO-Gas Safety’s 25th Anniversary!

Saturday 25th January 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the independent, registered charity CO-Gas Safety.

The charity would like to thank all those who have helped with the charity’s work over the past 25 years. Our thanks go especially to those victims and families poisoned by unintentional carbon monoxide but who have, despite grief and/or illness, helped raise awareness and prevent the poisoning of others. 

Thanks also to all those who have funded or helped the charity over the years.

The press pack 2020 is finished and will be put on the website, hopefully on the 25th. Thank you to all who have helped produce this.

Car Storage Bags can Kill

Please see https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/carbon-monoxide-poisoning-william-reid-kathryn-workman-inquest-cumbria-a8849551.html

William Reid and Katherine Workman died of carbon monoxide poisoning in October 2017 when William reversed his classic car into a plastic bag to keep it perfect. Very sad case. Shockingly unexpected consequence.

Report on Deaths abroad published November 2019

The All Party Parliamentary Group on Death Abroad and Consular Services published its report please see https://stv.tv/news/politics/1442082-families-failed-by-foreign-office-over-deaths-abroad/

Frank Brehany formerly heading Holiday Travel Watch and Stephanie Trotter gave evidence to Hannah Bardell MP’s assistants for about two hours and were both quoted in the report.