As a cause of accidental and suicidal death carbon monoxide ranks second to automobile fatalities. It is estimated that there occur annually in the United States about fifty thousand deaths from asphyxiation, at least half of which are due to this gas. In New York City reports show that for every seven automobile deaths there are five carbon monoxide deaths. Unfortunately, there are few reliable statistics available on the incidence of acute carbon monoxide asphyxiation, and there are none whatever regarding the remote effect of the gas. The most valuable data have been collected and published by the Ohio State Board of Health, which has been emphasizing the importance of the subject from the standpoint of public health for a number of years. The records for 1936 showed a progressive increase of the hazard in both the domestic and the industrial life of the community.
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BECK HG, SCHULZE WH, SUTER GM. CARBON MONOXIDE—A DOMESTIC HAZARDWITH ESPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE PROBLEM IN WEST VIRGINIA. JAMA. 1940;115(1):1–8. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810270003001