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How Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Happens

carbon-monoxideMany people don’t realize that carbon monoxide poisoning is extremely common. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is typically found in car exhaust and fumes left over from fuel-burning appliances, including common household appliances like generators, charcoal grills, gas stoves, and even wood fireplaces.

While an odorless and colorless gas might not sound very threatening, carbon monoxide is highly poisonous and can lead to severe health concerns. In extreme situations, exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal. This is why it is so important to be aware of your risk of developing carbon monoxide poisoning and to take precautions against it accidently making its way into your home.

The Worry Behind Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that binds to hemoglobin, which is a protein that is found in the red blood cells that transport oxygen throughout the body. When carbon monoxide is present, the red blood cells will actually pick up carbon monoxide even faster than they will pick up oxygen. As a result, the body becomes starved of oxygen, which could ultimately be fatal.

The first symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning that one will feel are like any general illness: headache, nausea, dizziness and confusion. Chest pain may develop, which should always be alarming. If an individual is experiencing these symptoms in their home, but the symptoms are alleviated when they leave the house, then the culprit could be carbon monoxide poisoning. It is important to act quickly if you do suspect carbon monoxide, as prolonged exposure could lead to loss of consciousness, permanent brain damage, and heart damage.

So how can you prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your home? The first step is to focus on ventilation. Having a clean air filter and strong HVAC system is a great place to start. You can also install carbon monoxide detectors in your home, which will sound an alarm if the gas is detected in your house.

This time of year is the most common time for carbon monoxide poisoning to occur, so if you don’t have precautions in your home already, now is the time to put those into place. for support with improving ventilation in your home to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.