Carbon monoxide ( CO ) constitutes about 0.000025% of our atmosphere. CO is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and non-irritating gas. Excess exposure to carbon monoxide can also kill you which is why it is also called the silent killer. It is present in the outdoor and indoor air and is produced by burning fuels. These include wood, oil, natural gas, propane, kerosene.
CO exposure is the leading cause of death in the United States. The gas levels in your home are dependent on the appliances that emit such gas, the presence of cigarette smoke and the type of heating and cooking fuels.
How Does CO Affect The Human Body
When excess CO is mixed in your blood, it attaches to the hemoglobin, restricting the distribution of oxygen in the body. The lack of oxygen can result in the symptoms associated with carbon monoxide poisoning.
Symptoms Of CO Poisoning
Depending upon the air concentration of CO and how long the CO is breathed in, you can experience the symptoms of CO poisoning which include headaches, dizziness, nausea, weakness, loss of muscle control, shortness of breath, chest tightness, redness of the skin, and fluttering of the heart.
What Are The Sources Of CO?
Malfunctioning appliances are common sources of CO poisoning in your home. These appliances can be a furnace or a water heater, a non-electric kitchen range used for heat, a portable non-electric space heater, or a gas grill used indoors.
A portable generator is a reliable source of electricity. However, it releases huge levels of carbon monoxide. It is recommended not to use portable generators in your home or basement even if the windows are open. Closed structures trap the CO and the air gradually becomes difficult to breathe. These generators should be placed out in the open, away from windows and doors of your home.
One of the major reasons for increased carbon monoxide in the atmosphere is vehicle emissions. Fuel burns to run the vehicle, which in turn, releases high volumes of CO gas in the atmosphere. Blocked exhaust pipes also contribute to the excess generation of CO in your vehicles. Make sure to keep the exhaust pipe of your car clean at all times.
Tools and Equipment
Tools like lawnmowers, snowblowers, chain saws, and pressure washers are run by fuel and while operating, they emit huge levels of CO into the atmosphere. Keep in mind to not start or operate such equipment in closed spaces as it could be harmful.
Gas generators, cooking ranges, space heaters, and water heaters are major sources of carbon monoxide emissions on a boat. Maintain proper distance from the engine and the exhaust area when the boat is operating. If you can smell exhaust gas, you are inhaling carbon monoxide and must immediately seek fresh air.
Excess carbon monoxide is bad for everyone, which is why preventive measures to curtail the emissions of the gas must be put into immediate effect. To know more about carbon monoxide, call Mid Atlantic Heating & Cooling. Our team of trained experts is always ready to answer all your questions.