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Crawford Featured in WQAD News Story

September 15, 2014

A carbon monoxide leak at North Mac Elementary School in Girard, Illinois sent 140 people to the hospital on Monday, according to WICS, an ABC affiliate in Springfield, Illinois.

Reports stated that students and staff members began feeling sick and were evacuated from the building.

In Illinois and Iowa, schools are not required to install carbon monoxide detectors, although homeowners are. Connecticut and Maryland are the only two states to require carbon monoxide detectors inside schools.

"It is an odorless, tasteless gas; unless you have a detector, you’re not going to know it’s even there,” Jeni Rochholz said, a service tech for Crawford Company Heating and Cooling.

CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by cars and trucks, stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood and heating symptoms.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include: nausea, weakness, lightheartedness, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. CO levels between 10-15 ppm, or parts-per million, can be lethal, Jeni said.

When temperatures begin to cool in the fall, Jeni’s job is critical: ensure there isn’t carbon monoxide leaking from her client’s furnaces. She said carbon monoxide, scientifically referred to as CO, occurs when carbon in fuel is not burned completely.

On Tuesday, News 8 found that the following schools currently have carbon monoxide detectors: Rock Island Schools and Pleasant Valley Schools.

Officials with Bettendorf and North Scott Schools stated they don’t have carbon monoxide detectors.

Moline Schools don’t have carbon monoxide detector; however, Dr. David Moyer said the schools don’t use gas heating.

Officials with Davenport Schools have yet to respond to our call.