Firefighters respond to carbon monoxide call at medical lab

Ottawa Fire Services says a faulty heating system is to blame for a carbon monoxide incident at a local medical laboratory.

An employee of the Dynacare laboratory on Peter Morand Crescent, near the Ottawa Hospital General Campus, called OFS just before 8 p.m. to report a chemical problem. Patients were complaining of watery eyes and a “propane-like smell.”

The employee and the four patients inside the lab were asked to wait outside. OFS’s hazmat team was called and found elevated readings of carbon monoxide in the building, of between 20 and 30 parts-per-million (ppm). A typically safe reading is 0 to 9 ppm.

Crews ruled out the possibility that a formaldehyde release may have contributed to the symptoms and later confirmed there was an issue with the heating system.

The heater was shut down and tagged for an inspection. Patients and staff were sent home. The scene was cleared by 10 p.m. 

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