International Carbon Monoxide Research Network launched in Parliament

For immediate release – 3 May 2018

On Wednesday 2 May, the International Carbon Monoxide Research Network (ICORN) was launched at an event held in the House of Lords. The event, sponsored by the Gas Safety Trust (GST) and Chaired by Alex Cunningham MP set out the network’s agenda for the next two years.

The group will establish working groups to focus on the following key issues: Policy, Toxicology and Healthcare, Epidemiology, and Technology and Innovation.

The ICORN also announced its intention to facilitate work on an Expert Consensus Statement on Carbon Monoxide Poisoning. By undertaking this work, a document will be developed to inform interested parties on clinical practice: where it is evolving, on the use of technologies, on patient treatment, pathways to aid recovery and prevent re-exposure, as well as to provide working definitions where currently they vary. It is envisaged that this document will be used to guide clinical practice where formal guidelines are not available and to provide recommendations that will draw attention to areas where ongoing clinical and fundamental investigation is required.

Following the International Conference on Carbon Monoxide Risk Assessment and Risk Management, which was organised by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority of Canada and took place in Toronto, in November 2016, participants agreed to create a network to facilitate collaboration and knowledge-sharing between researchers and other stakeholders.  The Conference highlighted the desire to create a framework for action to prevent death and/or injury from the effects of carbon monoxide through collaborative research and to improve scientific understanding and data collation. In response to this, the ICORN has been established, with secretariat services provided by the Public Risk Management (PRISM) Institute of Toronto, Canada.

Chris Bielby, Chair of the Gas Safety Trust who sponsored the event said:

“The Gas Safety Trust is pleased to sponsor this event, and to be associated with what is a much needed and overdue initiative. It fits neatly with our long term aims, will help us better target our resources, and will coordinate the global effort to prevent CO poisoning.

I hope that organisations with an interest in preventing CO poisoning, will look at how they can support the network, and researchers working in this area will consider being a part of this initiative.”


Notes to editors

Photos of the event are available on request.

About Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide is a gas formed during the incomplete combustion of any carbon-based or fossil fuel (e.g. gas, coal, oil, wood, charcoal etc.) which happens when there is insufficient oxygen caused by poor ventilation.

In England and Wales, the Department of Health estimates that around 30 people die from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning each year, whilst 200 are admitted to hospital and 4,000 go to emergency rooms requiring treatment. Similarly, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) there are circa 20,000 emergency department visits, 4,000 hospitalisations, and 450 deaths from CO poisoning, in the United States each year.

However, it is broadly agreed that these numbers are grossly underestimated due to the challenges in diagnosing CO poisoning – e.g. the similarly of its symptoms to other common illnesses and the speed in which carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), the main biomarker used for confirming CO poisoning, disassociates in the blood when the patient is removed from the source of the CO.

About the Gas Safety Trust
The Gas Safety Trust, established in 2005 as a registered charitable body, has become the UK’s leading fuel safety charity with the key objectives of further improving fuel safety for the public and industry throughout the United Kingdom and reducing the incidents of death and serious injury from carbon monoxide exposure.  The Gas Safety Trust is generously funded by the gift aided profits of CORGI Services Limited.

For further information, visit:;

The International Carbon Monoxide Research Network (ICORN) was established in 2016 to coordinate and promote research and data collection relating to carbon monoxide poisoning. The Network’s aim is to develop research which provides the evidence to improve policy and regulation as well as better education and awareness amongst the general public, healthcare professionals and others. For further information visit:, @IntCOResearch

About the GST CO Portal
The Gas Safety Trust (GST) has created an online carbon monoxide (CO) portal, which is the central repository for data and information relating to CO in the UK. The portal was launched in January 2015. The Portal has three main sections Legislation and Standards, which include information on Regulations, Standards, Guidance and Codes of Practice, Academic References, which is a searchable reference library of academic papers relating to CO and Data and Documents, which contains reports and other general information on CO,

For further information please contact:

Adrian McConnell                   
Trust Manager
Gas Safety Trust

T: 020 7706 5111
M: 07792 219649
Follow us: @GasSafetyTrust

Visit GST’s CO Portal: