Information On Carbon Monoxide And Why It Is Dangerous
What is Carbon Monoxide?
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Carbon Monoxide is a lethal gas produced in normal amounts whenever
you use an appliance which burns a combustible fuel. Combustible fuels
include gas, oil, kerosene, charcoal and wood. When proper ventilation
of appliances becomes blocked, carbon monoxide concentrations build up
inside your home and become deadly.
Because carbon monoxide is invisible, tasteless and odorless, its
victims may never know there is something wrong until it’s too late.
It often takes the lives of whole families. Children and the elderly
are the first to be overcome along with pets. Over 2,500* people in
the United States will die each year of carbon monoxide poisoning and
over 10,000 will be hospitalized.
Most victims who lose consciousness may be left with permanent
brain damage, mental and speech disorders, vision and hearing
impairments, seizures, coma or death.
Why Should I Worry?
Carbon Monoxide quickly replaces vital oxygen in the blood which
results in suffocation from the inside out. It could take as little as
3 minutes, depending on the level of concentration. Since you cannot
see, hear, taste or smell carbon monoxide, the only way to protect
your family is to recognize the symptoms and install a carbon monoxide
Symptoms to watch for:
- headaches, drowsiness, dizziness an confusion
- nausea, vomiting and rapid heartbeat
- unconsciousness, coma and death
- everyone in the house is feeling ill at the same time
- it feels as though you have the flu Common Causes of In-Home
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Malfunctioning or improperly vented heaters and furnaces
- Blocked passageways in chimneys and flues
- Paint removers which contain methylene chloride and which the
body absorbs and converts to carbon monoxide
- Depressurization in the house (“backdraft”).
Understanding the Meaning of CO Concentrations:
- 9 ppm (0.0009%) Maximum allowable concentration for short term
exposure in a living area
- 35 ppm (0.0035%) Maximum allowable concentrations for continuous
exposure in any 8-hour period
- 400 ppm (0.04%) Frontal or slight headaches within 1-2 hours
becoming life threatening after 3 hours
- 800 ppm (0.08%) Dizziness, nausea and convulsions within 45
minutes. Unconsciousness within 2 hours. Death within 2-3 hours.
- 1600 ppm (0.16%) Headache, dizziness and nausea within 20
minutes. Death within 1 hour.
- 3200 ppm (0.32%) Headache, dizziness and nausea in 5-10 minutes.
Death within 30 minutes.
- 6400 ppm (.64%) Headache, dizziness and nausea 1-2 minutes.
Death within 10-15 minutes. 12800 ppm (1.28%) Death within 1-3
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