Most fatalities from CO toxicity result from fires, but stoves, portable heaters, and automobile exhaust cause approximately one third of deaths. These often are associated with malfunctioning or obstructed exhaust systems and suicide attempts.
Common Accidental Causes
Carbon monoxide is a product of combustion. Any combustion will give it off. Car exhaust is a well-known source, but so are wood fires and gas appliances—stoves, fireplaces, and water heaters, for example. Poor ventilation in closed space leads to most carbon monoxide poisoning.
Vehicles including boats produce carbon monoxide. Devices such as camp stoves, barbecue grills and non-electric heaters are commonly used during recreational activities and also are sources of CO. The CDC has noted that CO poisoning cases have resulted from the use of power generators during power outages.
What are the symptoms of CO poisoning? The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If you breathe in a lot of CO it can make you pass out or kill you.
If the carbon monoxide concentration in the air is much higher, signs of poisoning may occur within 1-2 hours. A very high carbon monoxide concentration can even kill an exposed individual within 5 minutes.
The carbon monoxide in your body leaves through your lungs when you breathe out (exhale), but there is a delay in eliminating carbon monoxide. It takes about a full day for carbon monoxide to leave your body.
A carbon monoxide detector is a must for any home and just as important as a smoke detector. CO detectors should be placed near all bedrooms; they're the only way you will know if carbon monoxide is affecting the air quality in your home, and can help prevent serious illness and even death.
Where does carbon monoxide come from? Carbon monoxide is produced by devices that burn fuels. Your furnace, water heater, stove, space heaters, fireplace, woodstove, charcoal grill, and dryer can be sources of CO, especially if they are not in good working condition or have been installed without proper ventilation.
The Best Way to Test for Carbon Monoxide
Because CO is colorless, tasteless, odorless and non-irritating, the best way to detect its presence is to use an electronic combustion testing instrument.
No, carbon monoxide has no smell. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that's a byproduct of combustion. As a homeowner, this means it can leak from your gas furnace, stove, dryer, and water heater as well as wood stove/fireplace.
“Emergency physicians usually see carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of one of two main culprits: One is when people warm up cars in a closed garage. The other is from unvented space heaters,” says emergency medicine specialist Baruch Fertel, MD.
For those who survive, recovery is slow. How well a person does depends on the amount and length of exposure to the carbon monoxide. Permanent brain damage may occur. If the person still has impaired mental ability after 2 weeks, the chance of a complete recovery is worse.
If You Experience Symptoms You Think Could Be from CO Poisoning: Get fresh air immediately. Open doors and windows and turn off stoves, ovens, heaters and similar appliances and leave the house. Call a poison center immediately at 1-800- 222-1222.
Answer provided by. Congratulations on the new home. In this case, your contractor is 100% right—there can still be carbon monoxide in an all-electric home. Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer—it is odorless, scentless, and invisible, but can cause serious illness or death.
Carbon monoxide is a gas that has no odor, color or taste. You wouldn't be able to see or smell it, but it can be very dangerous to your health and even fatal.
Opening a window will slow carbon monoxide poisoning, but it likely won't stop it. There simply isn't enough airflow through most windows to get rid of the poisonous gas, and it could take between four and eight hours for the CO to dissipate entirely.
Acute carbon monoxide poisoning can cause serious injury to the brain, heart and other organs; the most severe damages that could be inflicted to the brain include cerebral ischaemia and hypoxia, oedema, and neural cell degeneration and necrosis.
If you suspect you have been exposed to carbon monoxide, or you have carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms, call 911 or get to an emergency room as soon as possible. You'll be given an oxygen mask to breathe through to provide pure oxygen. This will offset the carbon monoxide buildup.
To put it simply, Apple's poisonous gas sensor will be able to detect a host of gases which includes the likes of harmful gases such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and VOCs among others.
All patients with symptomatic carbon monoxide poisoning should be treated with 100% oxygen as soon as possible. In severe cases of fire fume intoxication, combined poisoning with CO and cyanides should be considered.
In people suffering from co-morbidities, symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest pain may be more evident. The classical signs of carbon monoxide poisoning — described as cherry-red lips, peripheral cyanosis, and retinal haemorrhages — are rarely seen.
BACKGROUND: Symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning are non-specific. Diagnosis requires suspicion of exposure, confirmed by measuring ambient CO levels or carboxyhemoglobin (COHb). An FDA-approved pulse oximeter (Rad-57) can measure CO saturation (SpCO).
One skill sometimes credited to dogs is the ability to sense or detect carbon monoxide. Unfortunately, even a dog's incredible nose can't detect carbon monoxide, though pets can still play an important role in the early detection of poisonous gas.