Dozens of people were exposed to carbon monoxide at a popular music venue on August 16th, 2018, in Manhattan. A beverage dispenser at the facility was dispensing carbon monoxide into the environment. It is unclear how long the issue might have existed before it discovered and addressed, but clearly at the very least hundreds of people were exposed. At least a dozen of the people exposed were sufficiently ill to seek emergency medical care.
Large scale carbon monoxide exposure tends to occur in commercial environments where people are contained in fairly small environments. This allows the dangerous gas to build up to significant enough concentrations that it poses a risk to health. Soda machines and other dispensers are often housed in small, almost closet-like areas where build-up can occur quickly. In addition to beverage dispensers, buildings that employ boilers or where ovens are used also pose risks.
It is a good idea to be aware of the early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, which include a dull headache, nausea, and dizziness. Unfortunately, many of these are also commonplace for people drinking alcohol at music venues, making it more difficult to recognize the cause of feeling poorly when exposure occurs in a place where alcohol is also served. Other environments that both serve alcohol and use machines that might leak carbon monoxide include bars and restaurants.
If you or someone you love was struck ill due to carbon monoxide exposure, recognizing how and where the exposure occurred is important. Businesses should be well aware of machines and appliances that may emit this toxic substance, and should install detectors and other safety apparatus in those areas to ensure the risk of exposure is as limited as possible.