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Carbon Monoxide

What is Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that can kill a person in minutes! Annually, more than 20,000 Americans visit the ER due to CO poisoning; more than 4,000 are hospitalized; and more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not related to fires.

Most Common Sources

Carbon monoxide is created when fuels, such as below, are burned. The appliances that use these types of fuels produce harmless amounts of carbon monoxide if the appliances are maintained and used properly in a well-ventilated area. However, faulty appliances may produce dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide that could be fatal. The gas can also build up in areas that are poorly ventilated.

Symptoms

Early symptoms of CO poisoning can mimic the flu or other illnesses. Carbon monoxide poisoning may lead to unconsciousness and death. CO gas can be especially dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn babies, infants and people with anemia and a history of heart disease.

These symptoms may include:

If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, immediately remove yourself and others from the area to fresh air outside and call 911. Be sure to have carbon monoxide levels assessed prior to returning inside.

Tips to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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