Carbon monoxide is nothing to take lightly. It is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly less dense than air. In concentrations of 35 ppm it can be can be quite toxic to humans. Carbon Monoxide is produced from the partial oxidation of carbon-containing compounds. It forms when there is not enough oxygen to produce carbon dioxide. For example; when the stove is left on, an internal combustion engine is in an enclosed space or a furnace malfunctions. When the pilots are lit, the flame will burn blue, producing carbon dioxide. If the flame is burning yellow or orange, there is a problem, and carbon monoxide is being formed.
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Leaks
Symptoms of mild manifestation of carbon monoxide poisoning include slight headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and other flu-like symptoms. Symptoms of medium exposure carbon monoxide poisoning are confusion, throbbing headache, drowsiness and fast heart-rate. High levels of carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms are unconsciousness, heart and lung failure and convulsions. If left untreated, and exposed at high levels, it could lead to brain damage or death.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Treatment
When carbon monoxide is breathed, it begins to rob your blood of oxygen. Bonding with the hemoglobin in your blood, displacing the life-giving oxygen, this then produces a toxic compound in your blood called carboxyhemoglobin which is the source of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you believe you or a loved one is exhibiting symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, inspect the obvious locations only if it safe. Remove all living things from your home, inform the utility company and seek medical attention. Hospital treatment for mild cases involves oxygen treatment and monitoring of carbon monoxide levels. In higher exposure cases, oxygen therapy is conducted.
Carbon Monoxide Detector Alarms
Having carbon monoxide alarms should be installed in every room of your home for top notch safety precautions. Regularly maintain them by conducting routine tests, and inspect battery life. They should be installed 15-20 feet away from fossil-burning sources like stoves or furnaces. If the alarm sounds, check your stove and furnace pilot lights, if any burn orange or yellow, turn them off as soon as possible.
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Should you discover your furnace is the culprit, let Air Supply Heating and Air Conditioning conduct a thorough inspection and get your furnace in working order! Contact us today before the weather turns cold.