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Evanston Fire & Life Safety Services responded to a call of workers feeling ill at a residence at about 2 p.m. on Thursday, August 28, 2014. Upon their evaluation of the workers and further investigation of the incident, it was determined that both workers had been exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide (CO). Both men were given Advanced Life Support (ALS) care and transported to Presence Saint Francis Hospital, where they are in stable condition.
Further investigation of the residence found carbon monoxide readings of approximately 450 parts per million (ppm) in the basement where the men were working, to 150 ppm on the second floor. The residents who were at home at the time of exposure were evaluated and advised to seek further medical evaluation. Evanston Fire personnel ventilated the building and worked with the City’s Building & Inspection Services Division to ensure the safety of the residents.
Anyone working with gas-powered equipment should take necessary safety precautions: a respiratory mask should be worn in the event that dust particles are created from cutting and adequate ventilation is needed to reduce the chance of a build-up of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that is a product of incomplete combustion of organic matter. It is toxic to humans and animals when encountered in high concentrations.