What is carbon monoxide poisoning?
Carbon monoxide is a deadly gas, which has no taste, odour or colour, making it extremely difficult to detect. This gas is responsible for many deaths all over the world, and is a common hazard that is associated with the incomplete burning of natural gas and carbon-relates material such as propane, coal, wood and kerosene.
When carbon monoxide (CO) is breathed in it poisons the body by displacing the oxygen levels in the blood and effectively starving vital organs including the heart and brain of oxygen. This can cause loss of consciousness and suffocation, and breathing in a large amount of this gas can take a deadly effect in a matter of minutes.
Although the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can vary from person to person, there are some common symptoms, which include:
- Chest tightness
- Nausea and vomiting
- Chest pain
- Muscle weakness
- Loss of consciousness
If it is caught in time, carbon monoxide poisoning can be reversed, but depending on the level pf Co breathed in can result in permanent damage to vital organs, such as the brain or the heart. Carbon monoxide is particularly dangerous because it can kill you without you even knowing that it is present, which has earned it the name of the silent killer.
Long-term exposure to carbon monoxide in the home is not all that uncommon and causes thousands of deaths each year. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can often be mistaken as flu or a similar common ailment as these symptoms are generally non-specific.
However, continued ingestion of CO within the home could eventually lead to heart or brain damage, or death. High levels of this gas can lead to death in just a few minutes, and even moderate levels can lead to a slow death.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is very difficult to detect and you could be receiving a dose of poisoning everyday in your home, office or car without even knowing it. Eventually this will lead to serious organ and neurological damage if not death. This is why it is so important that people take steps to learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatments for CO poisoning, in order to arm themselves as thoroughly as possible against this deadly and undetectable gas.
There are a variety of causes of carbon monoxide contamination, from poor ventilation to improperly burned fuel.
There are precautions that can be taken to try and protect yourself and your family from this deadly poisoning, such as getting carbon monoxide detectors and ensuring that the family is aware of the effects, causes and treatments for this condition.
The effects of carbon monoxide poisoning can be extremely severe or even fatal, and it is well worth the effort of taking some precautions in order to try and protect yourself and your loved ones from this colourless, odourless, invisible and silent killer.