As millions of Texans continue cope with a historic power outage due to winter weather, the American Lung Association is providing critical information to help the almost three million Texans living with lung disease protect their lung health during this unprecedented time.
Burning fuel, such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal, produces carbon monoxide and other air pollutants. Exposure to carbon monoxide reduces the blood's ability to carry oxygen and can cause sudden illness and death if you breathe much of it. If your power goes out in a winter storm:
• Use battery-powered flashlights or lanterns for lighting. Avoid using candles to provide light.
• Use woodstoves, gas heating stoves and fireplaces to heat your home, but only if they are vented properly to the outside. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
• Kitchen gas ranges and ovens are neither designed to heat nor effective at heating your home. Do not use ovens or gas ranges to heat your home.
• Outdoors is the only safe place to use generators, grills, camp stoves or any gasoline or diesel-powered engines. The fumes are deadly indoors.
• Watch for symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you or others in your house feel dizzy, lightheaded or nauseated, get out of the house and seek medical help immediately.
• You may need to seek shelter elsewhere until the power is back on.
The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, which has a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit: Lung.org.