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Blasting-Related Carbon Monoxide Incident In Bristow, Virginia
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    In the past several years, there have been a number of blasting-related carbon monoxide migration incidents. In each case, there have been some common factors that appear to be related to carbon monoxide migration. Geology, heavy confinement of the blast, close proximity to the affected structure, and open pathways into the affected structure are just a few. Prince William County, VA is an area undergoing a boom in suburban development. In the year 2001, more than 4,050 new homes were constructed within the county.1 In the new housing development located in Bristow,VA, trench blasting was utilized to excavate proposed sewage and utility lines. On November 8, 2002, a trench blast was conducted for the installation of utility lines. Later that evening a carbon monoxide detector alarmed in a nearby house. The gas company and fire department sampled for carbon monoxide and measured 100 ppm and more than 200 ppm on the first floor and in the basement respectively. Subsequent efforts to prevent migration of CO into the nearby homes met with mixed results. The only reliable technique for protecting neighbors from CO appears to be the placement of CO monitors in the homes. The events are presented and discussed.

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