• Ron Larson

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Sources within your home may be producing an orderless, tasteless gas that is hazardous to your health. Undetectable to humans, Carbon monoxide (CO) is generated by the incomplete burning of carbon based fuels and can come from furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, cars running in attached garages, gas or charcoal grills, and gas ovens.

Beginning symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to those of food poisoning. Be cognizant of headaches, dizziness, unusual weakness or clumsiness, nausea, quick and irregular heartbeat, chest pain, disorientation, confusion, and blurry vision. If you experience symptoms at home or a frequently visited location that disappear after leaving or stepping outside, CO may be the cause.

Small children and those with heart disease are most at risk with low level exposure to carbon monoxide. CO becomes toxic when it reaches a level greater than 35 ppm over a 8 hour time period, and levels of 200 ppm to 800 ppm are life threatening after 3 hours. Levels over 800 ppm will result in brain damage, unconsciousness and death within a few minutes.

Heeding the warning signs, keeping your gas appliances running clean by having them serviced on a regular basis, and placing CO detectors within 10 feet of every sleeping room can help protect your family against the dangers of carbon monoxide.

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