Willis Passes Bill to Protect Students from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

In an effort to protect students from dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide, state Rep. Kathleen Willis (D-Addison) passed House Bill 152 out of the Illinois recently, which requires carbon monoxide detectors be placed in public school buildings.

“I am proud to have sponsored this legislation because it will make sure that students are protected against carbon monoxide, which can be a silent killer undetectable without proper detectors,” said Willis. “This bill will make sure that students and teachers have the necessary safeguards in place to protect their health.”

The bill is in response to a recent event that occurred in Girard, Illinois. In September 2014, two schools were evacuated due to a carbon monoxide leak that occurred after the malfunction of a boiler within the building. In that event, approximately 60 students and faculty were taken to local hospitals to be treated for symptoms related to carbon monoxide exposure. The new legislation is aimed to ensure that newly constructed schools have permanently placed carbon monoxide detectors connected to the schools’ main power sources. Older buildings will be allowed to have battery-powered detectors. The new law would only apply to public schools. The bill now goes to the Senate.

“Many school building are old and have deteriorating equipment that could lead to carbon monoxide leaks,” said Willis. “I think we need to respond to the lessons learned in Girard and this bill will do just that.”

Willis is serving her second term in the Illinois General Assembly as State Representative of the 77th District, which includes O’Hare Airport and portions of Addison, Bellwood, Bensenville, Franklin Park, Maywood, Melrose Park, Northlake, Stone Park, and Wood Dale.