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Don't sleep in the greenhouse

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Dr. Marvin Trotter

February 17, 2020 — Greenhouses can be an economic boon, making it possible for growers to bring in several crops a year. But some people use generators in poorly ventilated structures, which can lead to tragedy, especially if workers also sleep in the greenhouse. Dr. Marvin Trotter learned about one such case in Covelo last week, and worries there may be more.

Trotter hopes that people who work in greenhouses and rely on generators will make sure the structures are well ventilated, and that no one ever uses them as sleeping quarters. If you start to feel sleepy in a poorly ventilated greenhouse, he says, you are at risk of dying from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide detectors are available at most hardware stores, so it’s not always necessary to get health officials or building inspectors involved, if you’re worried that you and fellow workers might be at risk.

The first thing to do if you find someone unconscious from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning is drag that person outside and start administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Trotter adds that if he lost consciousness due to carbon monoxide poisoning, he would also seek medical attention to make sure he hadn’t suffered any secondary effects, which can cause serious harm to all the systems of the body.