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Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that you can't smell, taste, see or feel. When gasoline, natural gas, wood, or charcoal burn, they produce carbon monoxide. The exhaust fumes that come from cars and trucks, fuel or wood burning stoves, gas ranges, generators, heaters and furnaces also have carbon monoxide in the
Carbon monoxide poisoning happens when you breathe in too much carbon monoxide. This can happen when there is a high level of carbon monoxide inside a closed space where fresh air can't get. Some common sources are smoke from a fire, gas or oil furnace that is not working properly, kerosene heaters, charcoal grills camping stoves and gas powered electric generators. Also cars and other vehicles that are left running inside buildings or garages can cause high levels of carbon monoxide.

To reduce your chances of carbon monoxide poisoning, (1) make sure you have working carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in your home. This is a device that is like a smoke alarm and can even be purchased as a combination smoke/carbon monoxide detector. If you purchase an electric detector, make sure that it has a battery backup and that the batteries are fresh. (2) Make sure all of your appliances in your home are working properly. (3) Have your heating system (including chimneys and vents) checked to make sure they are working properly. (4) Never leave your vehicle running in a garage, even with the garage door open. (5) Never run a generator inside your house or garage, or outside a window, door or vent that goes to your house. (6) Never use a charcoal grill or portable propane heater or grill indoors.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning range from headache, fatigue and nausea to confusion, dizziness and, in extreme cases, seizures and death. If you think that you may have been exposed to carbon monoxide and have any of these symptoms move to a place where there is fresh air (outside) right away and call 911. Carbon monoxide poisoning is treated with oxygen.

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