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CHRISTOPHER CRUISE: And I'm Christopher Cruise. Winter has brought cold weather to many areas in Earth’s northern hemisphere. With the cold comes a danger as old as man’s knowledge of fire -- death or injury by carbon monoxide poisoning. Today, we tell about this ancient and continuing danger.


FAITH LAPIDUS: An eight year old boy died earlier this month in his home near Boston, Massachusetts. His mother reportedly had burned charcoal in the home. Police believe the boy died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Also in January, carbon monoxide killed four members of a poor family in central California. A ten-year-old girl, her eight-year-old sister and two of their relatives died from the poison gas. It is said to have come from a gas-powered generator being used to heat the home. They were using the device because they had failed to pay their heating bill, and the company had turned off their heat.

CHRISTOPHER CRUISE: Carbon monoxide poisoning causes many deaths and injuries to people and animals around the world. The gas has been a problem since people first began burning fuels to cook food or to create heat. It is a problem in all parts of the world that experience cold weather.

America’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has studied deaths caused by carbon monoxide poisoning. It found that the average number of carbon monoxide deaths in the United States was greatest in the month of January.

The CDC also found that carbon monoxide kills more than four hundred Americans each year. And, it said, more than twenty thousand people are taken to hospital emergency rooms for treatment of health problems linked to the gas. Four thousand of them had to stay in the hospital to be treated.

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