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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Protect Yourself from the Silent Killer

Thursday, September 22nd 2022 10:00am 8 min read
Dr. Jessica Peatross dr.jess.md @drjessmd

Hospitalist & top functional MD who gets to the root cause. Stealth infection & environmental toxicity keynote speaker.

Carbon monoxide poisoning happens way too often in the United States. More than 20,000 Americans seek emergency care for unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning not related to fires. Of those 20,000, over 4,000 become hospitalized, and over 400 die.

So, carbon monoxide poisoning is serious. It’s frightening, and death can result from just a few minutes of exposure from high levels or within an hour from low levels. But, you can take simple steps to protect yourself.

What should you do if your carbon monoxide detector goes off? How long does it take to get carbon monoxide out of the body? Let’s take a look at the answers and ways to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.

What Is carbon monoxide poisoning?

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas and a frightening source of indoor air pollution. It is frequently called the “invisible killer.” Carbon monoxide is produced by burning gas, wood, propane, charcoal, or other fuels. It is also produced when fuel is burned in an automobile, heater, fireplace, grills, gas ranges, stoves, lanterns, or furnaces.

What circumstances can result in a dangerous accumulation of CO gas indoors? Improper ventilation of an appliance or engine is one way. This includes areas that are tightly sealed or enclosed spaces without a way for CO gas to escape to the outside. You can experience unsafe carbon monoxide levels in any type of residence. There is also the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning in car-related incidents, which typically occur in a garage.

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