Carbon Monoxide — What Does It Do?
It is colorless, tasteless and odorless. It is chemical left over when burning natural gas or other carbon-based inflammables such as; coal, gas, oil, charcoal, and wood or kerosene. When the carbon monoxide goes into your bloodstream it replaces the oxygen. Your major organs are starved of oxygen. This happens when you are in a poorly ventilated or enclosed area. It can also occur when appliances and systems are not maintained regularly. When there is a fire, you can also suffer from carbon-monoxide poisoning.
Symptoms may include:
- Breathing problems, including no breathing, shortness of breath, or rapid breathing
- Chest pain (may occur suddenly in people with angina)
- Impaired judgment
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle weakness
- Rapid or abnormal heart beat
- Nausea and vomiting
People most at risk from the number one cause of poisoning in the United States are the elderly, young children, those who smoke, those in high altitudes, and those with heart and lung disease. So, how can you protect your loved ones? Make sure you have working detectors in hallways outside of sleeping areas. Check those batteries when you check your smoke alarms. Schedule regular maintenance for all heating systems by a certified professional. Remember, everything could look and smell “normal,” and still be a danger.
What can you do if you suspect a carbon monoxide poisoning? Call 911 or call the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. Move the person into fresh air and move others to safety. The consequences for exposure are brain damage or death. The longer a person is exposed, the more at risk they are for lifelong injuries. For more information about the dangers of carbon monoxide and how to avoid them, give the CSIA certified pros at Mr. Smokestack Chimney Service a call today at 919-747-1859.