A British MEP has called on European lawmakers to step up their efforts to prevent carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
Labour MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber Linda McAvan was speaking after 23 people attending a Catholic youth meeting in Antwerp were hospitalised following a CO leak. The incident is thought to have been caused by a faulty heating system.
"This odourless, colourless, tasteless gas kills more people than HIV/Aids and skin cancer. And yet carbon monoxide does not receive the same level of attention," she said. "Harmonising the standard for detectors is one thing but we need to make that the law."
Ms McAvan insisted that more stringent regulatory standards were required, and added that it was a "disgrace" that some CO detectors available on the EU market did not comply to basic standards laid down by the trading bloc.
Earlier this week, firefighters in Cornwall reminded householders to ensure that they installed working CO alarms after a leak forced five people to flee a cottage in the county.