NEW BROCKTON, Ala. (WDHN) — New Brockton Schools confirmed Friday morning that another four students were found with elevated levels of carbon monoxide.
This means that eight high school students in total were taken to the emergency room with symptoms of possible carbon monoxide poisoning, but the school system doesn’t know why.
According to an official release, four students showed signs of what appeared to be heat stress in gym class. The students reportedly had headaches, dizziness and nausea.
“As a precaution they were transported to Enterprise Medical Center where it was discovered they had elevated levels (of) carbon monoxide,” the release states.
The school then evacuated all of its students and did a sweep of the campus. However, they found no signs of where the CO gas was coming from.
This wasn’t the end, however, since four more students showed up to the emergency room with higher carbon monoxide levels as well.
“At that time we completed a second sweep of the school again with negative results,” the release states.
Friday morning, they conducted a third sweep and, as of the latest information, are now testing the buses for carbon monoxide leaks. So far, the school system said it does not believe the chemical exposure happened at the school, but they will release updates if they do find a source.
“We have invited Alabama Department of Public Health to help us complete interviews with students and parents to see if we can find a commonality between these affected students,” the release states. “If any parent or student shows signs of dizziness, nausea, and headache please contact your health authority and inform the school.”
The high school also made several statements on Facebook regarding the situation.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carbon monoxide exposure can come from many sources, including poorly maintained heating machinery or blocked exhaust vents.
Initial symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, vomiting and nausea — the symptoms students first showed in the gymnasium.
Once a person reaches a critical level of exposure, they may then pass out or even die.
Exposure to CO at even moderate levels for long periods of time can lead to heart disease later on. Some cases of CO poisoning can leave other permanent marks on a person’s health.