Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, but highly toxic gas produced during combustion. According to the Florida Department of Health, CO is responsible for more than 500 deaths and thousands of non-fatal poisonings requiring emergency medical care every year just in America. World wide statistics are much higher.
Breathing in even a small concentration of Carbon Monoxide can compromise your bloods ability to deliver oxygen through your body. When your body’s systems do not get sufficient oxygen they begin to shut down, starting with your brain.
While the most common cause of carbon monoxide buildup is auto emissions (you should never let your car run in a closed garage), there are many other products that emit carbon monoxide and have caused accidental CO poisonings and death. These products include malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, ranges, water heaters and gas and kerosene room or space heaters. Engine-powered equipment such as portable generators; fireplaces; and charcoal that is burned in homes and other enclosed areas from heaters, stoves or grills is also very dangerous. In an enclosed environment, the concentration level of Carbon monoxide can quickly and easily rise to toxic and lethal levels.
The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include but are not limited to: headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, flu-like symptoms, fatigue and a feeling of weakness. Neurological signs include confusion, disorientation, visual disturbance, seizures, and syncope (fainting often preceeded by dizziness, loss of vision or blackout, nausea and abdominal discomfort, weakness, sweating, a feeling of heat and palpitations).
Infants may be irritable and feed poorly.
Higher levels of Carbon Monoxide poisoning lead to coma, heart failure and death.
There are many small inexpensive Carbon Monoxide detectors available for purchase at retail stores or online, they are simple, battery operated and similar to a fire/smoke detectors. We highly recommend that every home should install them near bedrooms and in common gathering places.