Ontario reports carbon monoxide poisoning cases at 666 schools

Written by By Laura Ivill , CNN

As the deadly carbon monoxide outbreak rumbles on, Ontario reports a total of 666 schools across the province with confirmed carbon monoxide incidents.

One of the worst incidents left 11 people, including six elementary school students, fighting for their lives in southwest Toronto, at George Brown College.

This is an image of the remains of the George Brown College building, where 11 people were found dead in a carbon monoxide attack early Friday morning. Credit: Anibal Rogo/Toronto Star via AP

Between April and May, the province saw 602 reported cases of CO poisoning , with 602 confirmed carbon monoxide leaks, according to an updated report by the ministry of education.

The most recent numbers were calculated by first counting the number of reported incidents, multiplied by the number of affected schools. That, then, was reduced to the total number of affected schools, divided by the number of children affected by the leaks.

This recent snapshot also takes into account cases reported to health and safety officials from across the province.

That’s 8.5 cases per day

A recent education ministry release also found that 96 schools were being checked for elevated CO levels after areas of the buildings were shut down and reopened, and that 113 schools were also being inspected after reports of CO traces in buildings, but not found to have unsafe levels of the gas.

According to the most recent calculations, the number of investigated schools had risen to 237 since the previous list was released in May.

Carbon monoxide levels can often be measured, but in most cases students will encounter the gas alone before they are noticed. The gas, which is colorless and odorless, builds up in the building because of its insulating properties. It is non-toxic, and harmless if ingested or inhaled in levels so low that the body doesn’t develop any reaction. But in some cases it can produce a dangerous high dose.

Where do these schools are located?

Eleven of the schools still on the list for which no reported incidents had been registered, were in Toronto, while 48 of the students affected came from communities located in three other areas of the province: Mississauga (31), Sault Ste. Marie (14) and Peterborough (14). In addition, five of the schools were in larger regional organizations.

In addition to the number of incidents reported to health and safety officials, the ministry’s report included a list of schools where affected children were identified by hospital staff.

Here are some of the areas with the highest number of affected students so far, by the ministry:

Bailieborough Public School, Mississauga — 9

St. Michael’s Campbellville Infant School, Toronto — 6

Charles Stewart McCowan Public School, Hamilton — 5

Earthenway Park Public School, Hamilton — 4

Markham Day Nursery, Toronto — 3

St. Nicholas Orchard Public School, Hamilton — 3

Trinity Lutheran School, Hamilton — 3

Global Lighterham Public School, Hamilton — 3

Goddardston Point Public School, Hamilton — 3

Reynolds Public School, Peterborough — 3

Wennan South Middle School, Hamilton — 3

Saint Paul’s School, Hamilton — 3

To view the full list, click here.

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