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Recognizing and avoiding carbon monoxide

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Posted at 8:49 PM, Feb 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-18 20:49:45-05

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning occurs when CO builds up in your bloodstream. When you breath in too much CO, your body replaces the oxygen in your red blood cells with CO, which can lead to serious tissue damage, or even death.

When carbon monoxide (CO) builds up in your bloodstream, poisoning occurs. This poisoning can lead to tissue damage or death.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas produced by burning gasoline, wood, propane, charcoal or other fuel according to the Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA). Improperly ventilated appliances and engines, particularly in a tightly sealed or enclosed space, may allow CO to accumulate to dangerous levels.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include but are not limited to: dull headaches, weakness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, confusion, blurred vision, shortness of breath and loss of consciousness.

Exposure to carbon monoxide poses a threat specifically to unborn babies, children, those with chronic heart disease and older adults.

LARA recommends avoiding the following: use of portable generators, use of charcoal/gas grills, and use of oven/stove to heat home. LARA does recommend using gas powered equipment, keeping generators away from doors, and allowing airflow for furnaces and exhausts.

Additionally, LARA recommends installing battery-operated CO detectors and checking them regularly.

If you think you or a child in your care may have CO poisoning, seek fresh air immediately and contact emergency medical services. For more information on carbon monoxide, visit the CDC’s website.