Dear Fellow Friends & Families of Crestview Heights School,
In our work as a parent group, one of our first action items was to do some research to gain a better understanding of what an “acceptable level” of carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), carbon monoxide in the blood, may be. Several of us took on the task of digging through several studies about carbon monoxide (CO), toxicology, and the symptoms associated with exposure to toxic levels of carbon monoxide. Our findings drove our conversation at our last meeting and we hope to share this information with you clearly.
Two representatives from our group spoke with a physician’s assistant at Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital (SPCH). We learned from this visit that the human body is constantly processing carbon monoxide. We are exposed to carbon monoxide daily; riding in vehicles, using natural gas or wood burning fireplaces, cooking with gas, even walking around outdoors where cars have emitted CO into the environment. In sum, we learned there is no way to get an accurate baseline level of COHb from one test because the COHb level we have in our bodies is constantly changing. If you have questions or concerns about your child’s health, you should talk with your child’s physician.
According to OSHA and the Center for Disease Control (CDC), a normal level of COHb can be between 3-8%. To bring a person’s COHb level to 9%, that person has to be in a room that has carbon monoxide levels at 50ppm for several hours. As we have learned from the Lincoln County School District, the carbon monoxide detectors that have been installed detect carbon monoxide at 30ppm. The World Health Organization (WHO) explains that the best way to prevent CO levels from rising is to circulate the air. We learned from the study performed by PBS that the air in Crestview is constantly circulating, with completely new air being present four times per hour. So, our children are getting new air in their classrooms every 15 minutes. We were very happy to learn that not only are our children receiving new air so frequently, but also that the CO detectors will alarm before a harmful level of CO is present in the air at CVH.
Based on the information we have, we believe that an investigation into other potential causes of the symptoms that children and staff have experienced is where our attention should be focused. We have had an initial consultation with G2 Consultants. They work regularly on pinpointing illness causing odors, chemicals and origins. They cite specifically that they work on finding sources of odors. The representative we’ve been in contact with is enthusiastic about working with us to provide more insight into the air quality at CVH. G2 Consultants has proposed a plan that includes long-term testing and we are working with LCSD to implement this plan.
We invite you to join us at the Seashore Center for Learning on May 14th at 4:30pm for additional information and updates. Dinner will be served at 6:00pm by Seashore Family Literacy.
CVH Parent Group
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