Mepal couple told to wear face masks ‘as much as possible’ to protect them from developing carbon monoxide poisoning

Ruby Baxter with the mask she has to wear outside. Picture: Steve Williams.

Ruby Baxter with the mask she has to wear outside. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A Mepal couple have been told that they need to wear protective masks when stepping outside of their house to prevent the intake of carbon monoxide.

Ruby Baxter with the mask she has to wear outside. Picture: Steve Williams.

Ruby Baxter with the mask she has to wear outside. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

The advice, which came from a doctor at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, follows a number of recent straw bale fires that have led to smoke travelling and ash blowing towards their bungalow - just two fields away from Ely EPR’s straw bale holding site at Blockmoor Drove.

Perce and Ruby Baxter, who have lived at Hiams Farm for 18 years and have dogs - which live outside, said they went to hospital in fear that they might have carbon monoxide poisoning.

“We have been suffering with constant headaches and sore throats over the last few days,” said Mr Baxter.

“Someone said we ought to go and get ourselves checked out, because these are symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning,” he added.


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Mr Baxter said he and his wife went to Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon and after having numerous blood tests they were cleared of carbon monoxide poisoning.

However, they were advised to wear masks “as much as possible” when going outside their home because if smoke gets into their system it could potentially make things a lot worse.

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“We’ve now got to walk around like we’re stupid aliens”, Mr Baxter said.

“The environmental agency didn’t want to know anything – until now. When I called them on Monday they seem to have pulled their fingers out,” he added.

Mr Baxter said that health protection officers are meant to be visiting them this week, but he has heard nothing from the council since.

He added: “If it’s not an environmental issue then whose issue is it?”

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