Atlanta Schools Debate Carbon Monoxide Detectors After Carbon Monoxide Gas Scare

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Students receive medical attention Monday, Dec. 3, 2012, outside Finch Elementary School in southwest Atlanta. Potentially lethal carbon monoxide levels at the school sent at least 42 students and six adults to hospitals Monday amid the evacuation of about 500 students, authorities said. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal Constitution, John Spink) | AP

ATLANTA -- It's odorless, colorless and deadly. And if carbon monoxide is leaking in a school, it might not be detected.

Atlanta school officials are discussing whether to install carbon monoxide alarms after a leak sent 42 students and five adults to the hospital Monday and forced the evacuation of 500 students. The gas was found at potentially lethal levels near a furnace.

Atlanta schools spokesman Stephen Alford said discussions about installing alarms are under way. The alarms are not legally required in Georgia.

Two states, Maryland and Connecticut, have passed laws requiring them in schools.

A report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency advised that schools install them. An environmental health expert at the National Conference of State Legislatures called the installation of alarms a "no-brainer."

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