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Carbon monoxide permeates drywall.

Carbon monoxide can leak through drywall, according to a study in the Aug. 21 Journal of the American Medical Association.

Researchers used a Plexiglas chamber divided by various types of gypsum wallboard, also known as drywall, of different thickness levels. They found carbon monoxide diffused across single-layer gypsum wallboard, double-layer wallboard and painted, double-layer wallboard.

The findings are concerning, the study's authors wrote, because carbon monoxide poisoning is linked to 500 accidental deaths yearly and a higher risk for brain injury. And 10 of the 25 states with laws requiring carbon monoxide alarms exempt homes without fuel-burning appliances or attached garages, "believing that without an internal CO source, risk is eliminated." Yet because the gas diffuses through drywall, such exemptions "may put people in multifamily dwellings at risk for unintentional" carbon monoxide poisoning, the study's authors wrote.

They also said the ability of carbon monoxide to permeate drywall could explain some instances of carbon monoxide poisoning in attached residences.

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Title Annotation:HEALTH FINDINGS
Author:Currie, Donya
Publication:The Nation's Health
Date:Nov 1, 2013
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