Carbon monoxide detectors are to be installed in shisha bars
For years, experts have been pointing to an increased health risk from hookahs. The smoke is particularly dangerous for visitors to shisha bars. Because there the carbon monoxide values are often alarmingly high. Doctors are now demanding the mandatory installation of CO detectors in high-risk buildings.
Health risks from carbon monoxide
Experts repeatedly warn against underestimating the dangers of carbon monoxide (CO). The odorless, tasteless and flammable gas arises, for example, when materials such as wood, coal or gas burn without enough oxygen. The chemical compound can cause poisoning, especially in closed rooms and at higher concentrations. What is unknown to many: Shisha smoke also poses a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Doctors are now calling for the installation of CO detectors in shisha bars to be made compulsory.
Make installation of CO detectors a must
"Against the background of an increasing number of carbon monoxide poisonings in shisha bars and apartments with gas thermal baths, the medical profession in the Rhineland has asked the state government to make the installation of CO detectors in these buildings mandatory," wrote the North Rhine Medical Association in a message.
According to the experts, water pipe coal is burned around the clock in many restaurants, which leads to high levels of carbon monoxide in the indoor air.
Controls by the regulatory authorities have shown that in some bars the CO value is increased by almost ten times the value that is still defined by the professional associations as harmless.
Around 40 hookah smokers had to be treated this year at the University Clinic in Düsseldorf alone.
Odorless gas is a health hazard
Carbon monoxide can block the transport of oxygen in the blood. Poisoning leads to symptoms such as headache, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, nausea and loss of consciousness, and even death from suffocation.
Every year hundreds of people in Germany die from carbon monoxide poisoning. At the beginning of the year, for example, six young people in Bavaria died of such poisoning in a garden shed.
Because carbon monoxide is odorless, people usually do not notice that they have inhaled the gas. The risk of suffocation is therefore great, especially during sleep.
CO detectors could contribute to greater security. (ad)