School is starting up and I wanted to mention an important issue for those with kids. A father reported to ACN that his child was poisoned by car and bus exhaust fumes while doing vehicle pickup and dropoff duty as a safety patrol. It so happened that the location for this duty trapped the exhaust of cars and buses as they sat idling or pulled forward. While this would be unhealthy for anyone in the vicinity, the boy began to complain of feeling ill when there, and eventually showed mutliple signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. He is is being treated for neurological and related chronic illness and is making gradual improvement.
We will have more on this case in the future, and wish the family the very best. It is known that exhaust contains carcinogens, and many families have found that exhaust exposure triggers tics and other adverse brain reactions. While diesel fuel gets the most attention, fumes from other fuels can also be dangerous.
We would all do well to keep these tips in mind:
- If you have a home garage, pull in front first, dont back in. And don’t let the car idle in the garage.
- If you use a garage that’s attached to your home, leave the garage door open for a bit after turning off the engine, to let exhaust escape. After entering, close the door to the house quickly so fumes don’t get into the home.
- If riders are getting into the car while in the garage, be sure the windows are up after they are seated, and then start the engine.
- Avoid underground or enclosed public parking when possible.
- Consider an air purifier for the car. (Foust offers a high quality unit.)
- When in a low traffic area, use the fresh air option now and then. Be sure to use the recirculate fan setting when in heavy traffic.
- Ask children to monitor how they feel when on the bus or in cars, and try to track down the source of any discomfort. (Be aware it’s not always the exhaust that can cause problems. It can also be toxins, dust, or mold within the vehicle, motion from the ride, or stress related to the particular situation.)