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Carbon Monoxide – Beware This Silent Killer

As winter approaches, it is a great time to be having appliances serviced and checked for problems; as well, ensuring that flues are vented to the exterior and that there are no blockages.

There are many things to be thinking about, and today, I wanted to share this with you to prevent issues, and potentially deaths.

Carbon Monoxide – A Silent Killer

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colourless, odourless gas. It is deadly.

It is a combustion gas and can easily build up in the home.

Another common contributor is car exhaust.

carbon monoxide risk 2

CO Poisoning: Health Effects and Symptoms

CO has an affinity for haemoglobin and thus it easily disrupts oxygen transportation within the body.

  • flu-like symptoms
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • dizziness
  • nausea and vomiting
  • confusion and impaired cognitive functioning
  • tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)

Heath practitioners need to be alert to CO poisoning mimicking influenza – and include this in their differential diagnosis when the whole household is exhibiting these symptoms.

Steps to Prevent CO Poisoning

  1. Have all gas appliances serviced annually and checked for faults and defects
  2. Check the flames – are they blue? Great. Are they yellow/orange? Call your gas company as this is a sign that the gas is nor burning properly.
  3. Only use gas heaters that are flued and vented to the exterior
  4. Use the extractor fan when cooking on a gas stove top
  5. Keep yourwindows ajar to dilute the indoor air
  6. Avoid idling the car in the garage or near windows
  7. If you have a garage attached to your house, be sure to close the door and seal it well, and never idle the car in the garage
  8. Also, ensure that windows are closed when the car is idled in the driveway
  9. Avoid opening your windows during peak hour traffic (or school pick up and drop off), especially if you live near a busy road

Prevention is Better Than Cure

My national team are trained to look for hazards such as carbon monoxide when conducting an Environmental Health AssessmentTM for our clients.

If you have any concerns, please get in touch.

#carbonmonoxide #gases #environmentalhealth #buildingbiology #gasappliances


 

 

 

 

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Author of all content is Lucinda Curran, unless otherwise indicated.