Carbon Monoxide FAQs
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is an odorless and tasteless gas that can be given off during the burning of fuel. Unfortunately, carbon monoxide is the leading cause of poisoning deaths in the United States.
What is the source of carbon monoxide?
Some major sources of this deadly gas in the home include furnaces, gas stoves and ovens, kerosene heaters, generators, vehicles and any other items that burn fuel. If these items are used inappropriately or malfunction they become dangerous. Malfunctioning home furnaces cause up to 18.5% of all accidental poisonings by carbon monoxide in the United States.
Who is at risk?
Anyone is susceptible to carbon monoxide poisoning, although studies have shown that children are more susceptible to low levels of exposure.
How do I know if I have carbon monoxide poisoning?
Common symptoms include: unexplained headache, fatigue, dizziness or nausea. If you notice your carbon monoxide detector is going off, immediately evacuate your home and contact the fire department. Low-level carbon monoxide poisoning is often confused with cold and flu symptoms.
What are health impacts?
Carbon monoxide starves the body of oxygen and can cause death in people of any age. For children, small doses of carbon monoxide over extended periods can also cause long-lasting health and developmental problems.
What are steps I can take to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in my home?
The best protection is to have fuel burning appliances inspected annually and to install a carbon monoxide detector on each level of the home.
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