Dubai Police Revels Top Three Reasons of Vehicle-related (CO) Poisoning

- June 05, 2023 , by Maagulf
Dubai Police Revels Top Three Reasons of Vehicle-related (CO) Poisoning

Dubai: Dubai Police has confirmed that inadequate maintenance of old vehicles, operating vehicles for extended periods of time in enclosed spaces and heavily modification with power boosters are the main reasons behind vehicle-related (CO) poisoning cases. 

This came during an awareness workshop recently organised by Dubai Police and partners at the Dubai Police Officers Club, with aim of raising awareness of the dangers of accidentally inhaling carbon monoxide (CO) aka the Silent Killer. 

Major General Ahmad Thani bin Ghalita, Director of the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology, confirmed that the Dubai Police is always committed to activating and supporting partnerships and collaborations with external partners to explore ways to develop work mechanisms, address challenges, and find solutions that enhance Dubai Police's objectives and directions in promoting safety and security.

He further explained that this initiative is part of a collaborative effort to raise awareness and combat one of the dangerous practices in which individuals operate their vehicles in enclosed spaces without adequate ventilation. "This exposes them to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning or even death", bin Ghalita added.

Bin Ghalita pointed out that the danger of carbon monoxide lies in the fact that it has no odour or colour, which makes it difficult to detect and determine its concentration in enclosed spaces. "The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, drowsiness, fatigue, and lethargy, which can cause a person to slip into a coma without realizing the danger they are in," he continued.

Three Causes

Expert Major Dr. Eng. Mohammed Ali Al Qasim, Head of the Criminal Engineering Section at the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology, stated that the Section's studies revealed that CO-related fatalities and poisoning cases occur due to a lack of awareness regarding several dangerous practices carried out by individuals. These accidents occurred in vehicles that had undergone significant illegal modifications to the rear exhaust filters to increase power and sound. After spending a period of time in such a vehicle, whether in an enclosed or open space, the level of carbon monoxide in the cockpit will increase exposing individuals to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning."

Furthermore, Al Qasim explained that the reports received showed that such cases occurred as a result of one of three reasons: either due to inadequate maintenance of old vehicles, heavily modification with power boosters or due to individuals practicing unsafe habits by operating vehicles for extended periods of time in enclosed spaces. "Therefore, it is necessary to raise awareness about the consequences and dangers of committing such practices on the lives of vehicle users", he added.

Prevention Methods 

Saeed Al Falasi, Director of the Legal Affairs Department at the General Department of Human Rights, pointed out that the workshop aims to explore ways to provide recommendations in collaboration with partners and relevant authorities regarding regulations and laws that can reduce injuries and fatalities resulting from inhaling toxic gases in vehicles. 

Air Quality Assessment

Mr. Yousuf Al Marzouqi, Acting Director of the Specifications Department at the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, emphasized the need to establish standards and measures for evaluating vehicle air quality. "This should become a mandatory specification that ensures environmental health and safety for vehicle users," he added.

The Silent Killer

Ibtisam Abd Al Rahman Al Abdouli, Poisons Senior Expert and director of the Specialized Forensic Evidence Department at the General Department of Forensic Science and Criminology at Dubai Police, said carbon monoxide (CO) is a 'silent killer' because it is a colourless, odourless, and tasteless gas, and can be accidentally inhaled without it realizing. 

"Some people may experience minor symptoms such as headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting," "But when the CO level in the body is high, it could lead to loss of consciousness and eventually death," she explained. 
Al Abdouli explained that CO is a toxic gas produced by the incomplete combustion of carbon-containing fuels, such as gasoline, natural gas, oil, coal, and wood.

"When a fire burns in enclosed places, including wood caravan houses and road trip vans, the oxygen is gradually replaced with carbon monoxide. This leads to serious tissue and cell damage and even death. "Carbon monoxide poisoning is behind many deaths worldwide due to lack of awareness and wrong practices, "she added.
Al Abdouli further urged that if someone is suspected of having CO poisoning, the first aid steps are to get them into fresh air immediately and call for emergency medical assistance.

Four Key Topics

The workshop included a brainstorming session where experts and specialists from internal and external partners discussed four main topics, namely: standards for inspecting and renewing old vehicles, raising awareness about risks through media channels, ways to reduce the recurrence of the phenomenon, and local and federal legislation and regulations.

It is worth mentioning that the workshop was attended by the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, The Supreme Legislation Committee, Dubai Municipality, the Roads and Transport Authority, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, in addition to the internal partners in Dubai Police, represented by the General Department of Criminal Investigations, police stations, the General Department of Traffic, the General Department of Human Rights, the General Department of Transportation and Rescue, and the General Department of Community Happiness. 

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