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The Silent Killer

Carbon monoxide poisoning, it is a scary term, but do you ever really think about what it is? Some think of a car running in garage like in action movies, or maybe that alarm that occasionally goes off in your house annoyingly, or maybe you don’t really know what it is or ever think about it.

Carbon Monoxide comes from anything that burns fuel, and as a society surrounded by things that constantly burn fuel, we always face the risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning.  Per the Consumer Product Safety Commission “About 170 people die in U.S. every year from CO produced by non-automotive consumer products.”

Now 170 people doesn’t sound like a lot, but it can happen to anyone. So why not mitigate that risk by knowing some of the symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning, and following some of the prevention tips listed below.

CO where art thou?

Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, tasteless, and odorless gas. Since this gas is virtually undetectable until symptoms start to arise, it is extremely important to know what products in your home may be exposing you to CO and how they may be putting you at risk.

Some products include: Any automobile or vehicle that burns fuel, Gas water heaters, Kerosene space heaters, Propane heaters and stoves, generators, and fireplaces.

If you’re heating system isn’t properly vented, the toxic gas it emits could be being vented into your home without you knowing until symptoms start to occur. If you leave a car idling, even with the garage open, CO can still leak into your house without your knowledge.

The Symptoms:

With the winter, still here, more people are turning up their heat and running their cars before they get in them. This means an increased risk of CO exposure and a need for increased awareness of the issue.

Unfortunately, many of the symptoms for CO poising are like typical weather changing illnesses so it can be even harder to catch.

Minor symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • headache
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • fatigue

Major symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

  • Mental confusion
  • vomiting
  • loss of muscular coordination
  • Death

Medical News Today tells us that our bodies have no use for CO and if we breath it in, it will deprive our blood of oxygen. Prolonged exposure can lead to brain damage or death.

How to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning:

There are around 10,000 carbon monoxide related injures diagnosed each year. This shows how important it is to know how to prevent CO poisoning in your home.

  • Get your heating system inspected and maintained yearly.
  • Make sure your systems are connected to the proper venting system.
  • Clean or get your venting system cleared of any blockages.
  • Get a carbon monoxide detector! states that carbon monoxide detectors will sound an alarm when they sense a certain amount of CO in the air. If your detector goes off, get everyone out of the house immediately. If anyone is displaying any symptoms of CO poisoning, call 911 immediately.

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