Date posted: 12.10.10
A woman whose children were victims of carbon monoxide poisoning for 10 years is setting off on a nationwide tour to raise awareness of the dangers of the silent killer.
Mum of four, Lynn Griffiths will travel to London, where she will meet Weaver Vale MP Graham Evans.
Lynn Griffiths is then set to visit Scotland, Wales, Sheffield and Northern Ireland in November as part of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, the week she founded alongside the charity she launched in 2005.
The 52 year-old, whose children have suffered constant ill health after being exposed to the highly toxic colourless, odourless and tasteless gas, has called on MPs, local authorities and health workers to back her cause.
Lynn is now looking for the media to support her national Carbon monoxide Awareness week, as she believes lives could be saved and injuries prevented.
Lynn said: "Carbon monoxide (CO) is the most common poison in Britain today and I believe it's something many families know little about.
"We are keen to work with as many different organisations as possible to help prevent carbon monoxide deaths and injuries. I strongly believe that by working together we may save lives and help prevent some of the long-term suffering victims.
"My children and I were chronically poisoned by carbon monoxide, so know only too well the devastating effects this silent killer can have on family life. We need your support for the week starting November 15 to stop this happening to your loved ones.
"With the support of schools; universities; colleges; councils; home builders; registered social landlords; housing associations; letting agents; councils; environmental health officers; builders; architects; manufactures of fires, boilers and heaters; registered engineers; training bodies; fire and rescue; primary care
trusts; hospitals; paramedics; consultants; doctors; nurses; health visitors; therapists; gas emergency services; gas; oil; wood and coal suppliers; solicitors; local and national press; TV, radio and government ministers; policy-makers and MPs - we can stamp out this threat to lives.
"Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week will raise awareness of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and prevent others from going through the same feelings of isolation, frustration, anger and grief that my family has."
Lynn, whose charity recently lost Department of Health funding, also aims to spread the word to schools, universities and colleges as well as to house-builders, landlords and gas, oil, wood and coal suppliers.
Already leaflets highlighting the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning have been distributed to GP practices in Halton, St Helens and Liverpool. Halton Housing Trust, which owns around 6,200 properties in Runcorn and Widnes, backed Lynn's awareness plan.
Nick Atkin, the trust's chief executive, has agreed to speak at both the House of Lords and the Sheffield event. "We have supported Lynn and Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week throughout her campaign," he said.
"We are fully committed to protecting our customers from carbon monoxide poisoning and are anxious to alert people to what action needs to be taken to prevent it."
Lynn, who runs the charity from her office in Aintree fire station, Liverpool added: "Halton Housing Trust has been very supportive and I cannot thank Nick enough for everything he and HHT have done."
Carbon monoxide poisoning kills 50 people and seriously injures a further 200 every year in Britain alone. Symptoms include headaches, dizziness, tiredness and nausea and can be mistaken for flu, a virus and even food poisoning.
If you think you are suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, open the windows and go outside. If the symptoms are serious, consult your GP immediately.
Four steps to improve Carbon monoxide awareness:
- Put it in the school curriculum. By teaching children about the dangers of the modern world we increase their potential to be safe and enable them to carry home the message to their families and friends
- Improve information and equipment to the medical profession. Emergency services and A&E department staff all acknowledge the benefits of non-invasive diagnostic equipment and up-to-date information for rapid on-site diagnosis
- Create an information and advice resource for solicitors and victims. Many victims fail to obtain proof of their condition, or compensation for poisoning as they cannot afford to employ expensive legal and expert witness staff to collect evidence and fight the case
- Ensure that all installation and servicing is carried out by competent operatives. Only one fuel (gas) requires the installer/service operative to prove competence to work safely and proper training has been replaced by modular academically-based short courses. This means many installer/service operatives in all three fuels lack the experience to recognise potential problem areas. All fitters and servicing personnel must know what they are doing and have the incentives to do the work properly.
For more information about the National Carbon Monoxide Awareness week or the charity, call Lynn Griffiths on 07715 899 296 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or log on to www.covictim.org