Carbon monoxide (CO) is the number one cause of poisoning deaths in the United States. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, “There are approximately 2,100 unintentional deaths from carbon monoxide (CO) every year.” Also, more than 10,000 CO injuries occur annually from this colorless, odorless, and tasteless poison.
CO can be produced from gas furnaces, space heaters, clogged vents, chimneys, or even a car running in a closed garage. Anything that burns fuel can produce CO. It is the product of incomplete combustion, and it can kill in minutes or hours depending on the amount in the air. If inhaled at damaging levels, CO poisoning can lead to breathing difficulties, impaired judgment and memory, damage to the nervous system, cardiac trauma, brain damage, coma, or even death.
Everyone is susceptible, but experts agree that unborn babies, young children, pregnant women, senior citizens, and people with heart or respiratory problems are especially vulnerable and are at the highest risk for death or serious injury.
Both the American Lung Association and the American Medical Association agree. All fuel burning appliances should be inspected once a year by a qualified technician, and CO alarms are valuable tools that could potentially prevent fatalities.
A Carbon Monoxide leak from your furnace or gas dryer could create a dangerous situation for you and your family.