Facts about carbon monoxide poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a serious public health issue. It is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. It is impossible to see, taste or smell, and it can kill you before you are aware it is in your home.

Carbon monoxide is produced by appliances and other devices that generate combustion fumes, such as those that burn gas or other petroleum products, wood and other fuels. The danger occurs when too much carbon monoxide accumulates in a contained, poorly ventilated space.

“The Trumbull Monroe Health District (TMHD) encourages all residents to become familiar to the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning,” said Patrice Sulik, TMHD Director of Health.

“November through February is the leading months for CO poisoning in the U.S., with the peak being in December. Windows are closed, heating appliances are turned on, and portable generators maybe in use.”

According to Robert Adler, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Commissioner, “Installing CO alarms on every floor of your home, keeping portable generators far away from your home, and having a yearly inspection of gas appliances can help your family avoid the invisible killer.”

Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be subtle. They include:

• Mild headache

• Weakness

• Dizziness

• Nausea

• Vomiting

• Shortness of breath

• Confusion

• Blurred vision

• Loss of consciousness

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be very dangerous for people who are sleeping or intoxicated.

If you suspect that you’ve been exposed to carbon monoxide, step outside into the fresh air immediately and seek emergency medical care.

For more information on carbon monoxide poisoning, visit the National Fire Protection Association at nfpa.org/carbonmonoxidekit or tmhd.org (fact sheets).