Older adults with compromised health, such as breathing problems, heart disease or anemia, are more likely to fall ill from carbon monoxide exposure. Because the symptoms of CO poisoning may be similar to other illnesses including the flu and food poisoning, the condition can be hard to detect.
Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning. Infants, the elderly, people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems are more likely to get sick from CO.
Everyone is at risk of being poisoned by carbon monoxide exposure. Older adults with pre-existing conditions, such as chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems, are even more susceptible to the effects of this odorless, colorless gas.
Common sources are cars, fireplaces, powerboats, wood stoves, kerosene space heaters, charcoal grills, and gas appliances such as water heaters, ovens, and dryers. Usually they cause no problems.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is caused by inhaling combustion fumes. When too much carbon monoxide is in the air you’re breathing, your body replaces the oxygen in your red blood cells with carbon monoxide.
The most common source of carbon monoxide pollution is vehicle exhaust. Since the implementation of the Clean Air Act, the concentrations of all major air pollutants have decreased.
Possible Causes of High Carbon Monoxide (CO) Emissions Fuel can only come from three sources: the crankcase vapor control system, the evaporative control system, or the actual fuel delivery system.
Carbon monoxide is harmful when breathed because it displaces oxygen in the blood and deprives the heart, brain and other vital organs of oxygen. Large amounts of CO can overcome you in minutes without warning — causing you to lose consciousness and suffocate.
Carbon monoxide symptoms mimic the flu: headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, confusion, and irritability. Continued exposure can lead to vomiting, loss of consciousness, brain damage, heart irregularity, breathing difficulties, muscle weakness, abortions and even death.
You Can Prevent Carbon Monoxide Exposure Do have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year. Do install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home.
Most Common Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Sources
An open window will help slow down carbon monoxide poisoning as it will allow for better ventilation in your home and will expel some of the gas before you inhale It. Opening two or more windows will ensure good ventilation and further reduce the amount of gas in the room.
Key points about carbon monoxide poisoning Most CO exposures happen in the winter. A common source is unvented space heaters. Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea and vomiting, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, seizures, chest pain, disorientation, and loss of consciousness.
The risk of CO poisoning exists outdoors, too. That’s because an engine’s exhaust fumes can get trapped and concentrated in an area with minimal air movement. Consider these carbon monoxide safety tips to keep you and your family safe.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning may include: Breathing problems, including no breathing, shortness of breath, or rapid breathing. Chest pain (may occur suddenly in people with angina) Coma.
Household appliances, such as gas fires, boilers, central heating systems, water heaters, cookers, and open fires which use gas, oil, coal and wood may be possible sources of CO gas. It happens when the fuel does not burn fully. Fumes from certain paint removers and cleaning fluids can cause CO poisoning.