Determining the impact of carbon monoxide: Gas Safety Trust supports Cranfield University’s research

The Gas Safety Trust (GST) has awarded a grant of £166,170, over 2 years, to Cranfield University to carry out research which will determine how many people are affected by carbon monoxide (CO) in a variety of environments and to what degree. These include environments associated with leisure activities including boats, caravans and tents, as well as in the home, specific working environments and public spaces.

Cranfield University will undertake a thorough review of existing research and regulation relating to CO in the UK and elsewhere. It will consider not only the medical side of research but will also correlate it with the chemical/physical effects.

It is hoped that the outcome of this research will be the identification of gaps in research and understanding as well as contributing to the development of systems for defining the impact of CO and monitoring its effects in the UK in defined environments.

Chris Bielby, GST Chairman, commented on this project, saying:
“This piece of work is something that the Gas Safety Trust has been looking to commission for some time. I am delighted to be working in partnership with Cranfield University. The identification of the key gaps in what is understood about carbon monoxide will allow the Gas Safety Trust to focus its resources in the areas in which it will have the greatest impact.

I am optimistic that the output of this activity will be of great benefit to everyone who is committed to reducing carbon monoxide related injury and fatalities.”

Roland Wessling, Project Director, said:
“Carbon monoxide, as a natural by-product of combustion, will be with us as long as we burn fossil fuels. The challenge is to make living with CO as safe as possible. While raising public awareness is absolutely crucial, we at the Cranfield Forensic Institute believe that research and science are equally important and equally effective tools to make our lives safer.

We are very grateful that the Gas Safety Trust has now enabled us to start this impact study, which is part of an even larger project that will also see PhD-level, laboratory-based research that will accompany this impact study. The combined results will make a significant difference. This is the first step in a long-term commitment to carbon monoxide research.”

About the Gas Safety Trust
The Gas Safety Trust, established in 2005 as a registered charitable body, has become the UK’s leading fuel safety charity with the key objectives of further improving fuel safety for the public and industry throughout the United Kingdom and reducing the incidents of death and serious injury from carbon monoxide exposure. GST is currently seeking grant applicants via www.gas-safety-trust.org.uk.

For details of the BPEC CO Awareness Course please visit http://bpec.org.uk/qualification/co-gas-safety-awareness/