December 28, 2010
Forty-five employees of La Mar Plastics in Freeport, NY on Long Island required medical attention due to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning after a leak of the deadly gas at the plant where they worked.
According to The Washington Post, the incident occurred on Tuesday morning. Firefighters called to the scene found that the company’s gas heating system had likely flooded the building with carbon monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas because it is odorless, colorless and tasteless. Improperly maintained, vented or defective fuel burning heaters, stoves, fireplaces or other fuel burning equipment can be the cause of carbon monoxide leaks. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. High levels of CO can be fatal.
Freeport assistant fire chief, Mark Stuparich to told the news source that while normal carbon monoxide levels are about 5 parts per million, indoor air readings at the plant recorded more than 500 parts per million.
Emergency services treated twenty employees on the scene and transported another twenty-five affected employees to the hospital.
La Mar Plastics manufactures molded plastic packaging.