Carbon Monoxide Poisoning PreventionCarbon Monoxide or “CO” is an odorless, colorless gas.Exposure to CO gas can lead to poisoning and sudden illness or death.The Problem with COIt cannot be detected by our senses.Dangerous concentrations of the gas can build up indoors and go undetected.CO poisoning symptoms are similar to the flu. Victims do not to recognize the early symptoms.Common Sources of COFireplacesHomes with attached garagesFurnaces or boilersGas stoves and ovensFireplaces, both gas and wood burningWater heatersClothes dryersWood stovesPower generatorsMotor vehiclesPower tools and lawn equipmentTobacco smokeCO Poisoning SymptomsHeadacheDizzinessWeaknessVomitingChest painConfusionPeople who are sleeping or drunk can die from CO poisoning before they notice the symptoms.Who is at Risk?Every person who is exposed to high levels of CO can be at risk.Young children, the Elderly and people with the following conditions are at even greater risk:Respiratory conditions,Cardiovascular diseaseAnemia or sickle cell anemiaPeople engaged in strenuous activityCO Poisoning PreventionInstall a CO detector in your homeReplace the battery when you change your clocks each spring and fall.Place your detector where it can wake you if it is activated.Replace your CO detector every five years.Get heating/cooling systems or fuel burning appliances serviced by qualified technicians.Do not use portable flameless chemical heaters indoors.Buy equipment approved by a national testing agency, i.e. Underwriters’ Laboratories.Make sure gas appliances are vented properly.Horizontal vent pipes for appliances should be angled upward slightly.Have your chimney checked for debris annually as a blockage can cause CO to build up.Do not cover a vent pipe.Do not use a gas range or oven for heating.Do not burn charcoal indoors.Do not use a portable gas camp stove indoors.Do not use a generator inside your home, basement, or garage.CO Poisoning from VehiclesCheck the exhaust system of your vehicle every year. A leak in the exhaust system canlead to a build-up of CO inside the vehicle.Never run your car inside a garage attached to a house - even if the garage door is open.http://www.cdc.gov/co/surveillance/rationale.htmhttp://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/indoorair/co/
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