Carbon monoxide is a potentially lethal gas that is extremely difficult to detect. The gas is colorless, tasteless, and odorless which means there’s a high likelihood you could breathe in the toxic fumes without even suspecting any imminent danger. For the safety of your family and your pets, you must have reliable detectors in place to stay protected from this unseen threat.
How Carbon Monoxide Affects the Body
The reason carbon monoxide is so dangerous to human health is because when the gas is inhaled, it will instantly deplete the body of oxygen. Eventually as vital organs, including the heart and brain, are deprived of oxygen your body can go into organ failure. When you’re exposed to extremely high levels of carbon monoxide, this can occur within minutes. Although workers in certain industrial fields are at an increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning, carbon monoxide poisoning can also occur within the home.
Levels of Carbon Monoxide
How much carbon monoxide is in the air determines just how much danger you are in. Small amounts of carbon monoxide exposure, ranging from 1 to 70 parts per million or ppm are not likely to cause any adverse health effects.
However, as exposure levels increase to 70 ppm or over, carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms are likely to become more apparent. When levels reach over 70 ppm, you may start to experience the telltale signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. This may include headaches, weakness, confusion, vision changes, nausea, vomiting, and difficulty breathing. When carbon monoxide levels in the air reach above 150 ppm, loss of consciousness and death could occur.
What To Do When You Experience CO Poisoning
Smaller amounts of carbon monoxide can be deadly to young children, the elderly, and those suffering from medical conditions. Even if a person survives carbon monoxide poisoning, he or she may suffer from long-term effects including irreversible brain damage. Fetuses are also at risk of developmental issues if the mother is exposed during pregnancy.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is a medical emergency and if you suspect exposure, call 911 immediately. You must also seek out fresh air immediately by turning off any appliances, opening windows and leaving the house. By providing ventilation, you are not only ensuring your safety, but also the safety of any emergency personnel who arrive on scene.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Long Term Effects
Carbon monoxide harms your body by lowering the oxygen levels in the blood and results in cell damage and eventually organ damage. The long term effects of carbon monoxide can be extremely dangerous. The inhalation of even small amounts of CO over an extended period of time can affect memory, brain function, behavior, and cognition. It can also cause permanent organ damage. It is commonly thought that the hippocampus (memory center of the brain) is often very susceptible to carbon monoxide damage.
If you experience headaches, nausea, dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, sleepiness, difficulty concentrating or memory problems whenever you’re at home or in certain areas, but then the symptoms go away when you leave, then you might be exposed to low levels of carbon monoxide without realizing it. If you are experiencing these symptoms, then it’s a good idea to go ahead and get a CO censor put up and even have you appliances checked for leaks by a professional. Having interconnected sensors tied into a smart home system is the safest solution. Contact Protect America to ask about their interconnected smart smoke and CO detectors.
Carbon Monoxide Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following tips to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning from occurring within your home:
- Service all heaters annually
- Never use portable chemical heaters inside
- Ensure proper ventilation surrounding gas appliances
- Never use an oven to heat a home
- Never burn charcoal indoors
- Report all appliance odors to professional service personnel
As a way to keep your family safe from both carbon monoxide and fire threats in your home, you must consider monitored home security.
With a monitored home security system, you can ensure emergency personnel is contacted and dispatched to your home within minutes. Protect America has a complete line of home security products to keep you and your family safeguarded round-the-clock. Contact them by phone or online today to receive your free quote.