What Do Carbon Monoxide Levels Mean?

Discussion on health consequences of air particulates

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What Do Carbon Monoxide Levels Mean?

Postby Wilberforce » Sun Dec 13, 2009 4:08 pm

What Do Carbon Monoxide Levels Mean?
"Although the automobile is to blame for most of the CO problem, chimney smoke from wood stoves
is beginning to compete with it as the most objectionable source of air pollution in some suburban
areas. In this case, it is not just the CO that matters, but other gases and particulates as well."
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Re: What Do Carbon Monoxide Levels Mean?

Postby cbhattarai » Mon Apr 02, 2012 12:31 am

What is know is that it can cause you and the environment in danger...
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Re: What Do Carbon Monoxide Levels Mean?

Postby Wilberforce » Fri Nov 02, 2012 8:36 pm

Dangerous, sometimes deadly, use of gas-powered generators
Don Sapatkin, Inquirer Staff Writer
Posted: Friday, November 2, 2012, 3:01 AM

Two sisters are dead in Trenton. So are an elderly woman in Upper Merion and a grandfather in the Lehigh Valley. The rest of his family was taken for emergency treatment to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the children's hospital next door.

The culprit in these deaths - and hospitalizations too numerous to count - is carbon-monoxide poisoning from home generators whose use mushrooms during power outages.

"There is a real public-health emergency going on," said Fred Henretig, senior toxicologist at the regional Poison Control Center at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Most people realize that running gasoline-powered generators (and charcoal grills) inside the house can be dangerous; the instructions say so in big type. "So they put the generator in their garage, maybe, with the door open and think it's going to be OK," said Henretig.

"But it isn't."

Carbon-monoxide fumes are invisible and odorless. Symptoms can easily be mistaken for something else: headache, light-headedness, nausea, vomiting, and, in more serious cases, chest pain and loss of consciousness as the brain and heart are starved of oxygen.

The mechanism for poisoning by carbon monoxide is simple. "It binds to hemoglobin" - the blood protein that normally carries oxygen - "and there is no oxygen delivery, and you die," said Stephen Thom, an emergency medicine physician at Penn.

Thom deals with the cases that are bad, but not quite that bad.

The first treatment for carbon-monoxide poisoning is to get the person away from the source. More serious cases are given oxygen under pressure in emergency rooms. The ER staff at Doylestown Hospital saw at least 10 patients on Tuesday alone, most related to power generators.

"We had several in our emergency department for several hours receiving high-flow oxygen," said Lawrence Brilliant, the department's medical director.

The most serious case was transferred to Penn, where the hyperbaric-medicine program headed by Thom got a dozen of the most serious cases from the region.

They are placed in sealed chambers, some that are the size of a bedroom but look more like a submarine, with the pure oxygen pumped up to nearly three times normal air pressure.

The high pressure, given in three treatments over 24 hours, essentially helps the patient detox from carbon-monoxide poisoning. There also is evidence that it can help prevent permanent cognitive problems.

"A lot of times, six or eight weeks later, they will get headache, memory loss, coordination problems, it's very subtle," said David Lambert, a Penn physician who specializes in hyperbaric and undersea medicine.

Carbon monoxide is the single leading cause of poisoning deaths worldwide, said Thom, much of it from poorly ventilated heating and cooking in underdeveloped countries. In the United States, it has been overtaken by skyrocketing numbers of deaths due to overdoses of prescription painkillers.

But spikes are reported after major storms, with generators used during power outages playing a big role. Patterns vary by region. Several doctors in the Mid-Atlantic said blizzards could be the worst, especially if they come early in the season, when a combination of hazards - defective furnaces turned on, generators to produce electricity, and high snows blocking exhausts of idling parked cars - can come together in, well, a perfect storm.

"We're getting bombed with calls," said Steven M. Marcus, director of the Newark-based New Jersey Poison Information and Education System, who said he had not had time to add up hospitalizations.

Four deaths in New Jersey appear to be linked to generators, two of them placed outside. They may have involved Bernoulli's principle, he said, which describes how gases flowing across a small opening, perhaps a slightly open window, can get sucked inside.

He urged anyone with possible carbon-monoxide poisoning symptoms to call the poison centers' national hotline, 800-222-1222, or go to its website, http://www.aapcc.org. The hotline routes calls by location; New Jersey residents may also go to http://www.njpies.org for chat capability and 8002221222@njpies.org for real-time e-mail and texting.

Cynthia Maulick and her husband have used their standby generator - installed in the basement by an electrician and vented outside - numerous times during power outages at their home in woodsy Upper Black Eddy.

She thought nothing of her headache while cooped up Tuesday. She was a little woozy, but hadn't eaten. Her heart started pounding; then she fainted.

She had been preparing for bed a few minutes earlier.

"I could so easily have ignored this and been dead in the morning," said Maulick, 53, who finished hyperbaric oxygen treatment Thursday at Penn and was hoping to find her four cats alive when she arrived home.

http://www.philly.com/philly/news/natio ... ators.html
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Re: What Do Carbon Monoxide Levels Mean?

Postby Wilberforce » Wed Nov 28, 2012 9:52 pm

News Releases By Date

EPA offers tips on protecting your family from carbon monoxide poisoning

Release Date: 11/28/2012
Contact Information: Lisa McClain-Vanderpool (303)312-6077; Ron Schiller (303)312-6017

Simple things you can do to stay safe

(Denver, Colo. – November 28, 2012) It's getting cold in the Rocky Mountain and Plains region, and the arrival of winter means we’re firing up our gas furnaces and wood-burning stoves to warm our homes. When we use our furnaces and stoves, and spend more time indoors, we are at increased risk of exposure to carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible gas produced when gasoline, natural gas, propane, kerosene, and other fuels are not completely burned during use. The gas is one of the leading causes of poisoning death, with more than 400 victims in the United States each year. In addition, more than 4,000 Americans are hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning and 20,000 people get sick enough from exposure to visit an emergency room each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Any combustion appliance --gas furnaces, wood stoves, hot water heaters, gas ranges --produces carbon monoxide. A car running in an attached garage or the use of a hibachi indoors can also contribute to a build-up of carbon monoxide in a home.

Since carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, an exposed person may not be aware they are being poisoned until it is too late. Unborn babies, infants and persons with heart disease are particularly at risk. Early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be similar to flu symptoms, including headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue.

If you experience symptoms that you think could be from carbon monoxide poisoning, get fresh air immediately. Open doors and windows, turn off combustion appliances, and leave the house. Go to an emergency room and tell the physician you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning. If carbon monoxide poisoning has occurred, it often can be diagnosed by a blood test done soon after exposure.

Steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from carbon monoxide poisoning include:

· Make sure appliances are installed and vented properly.

· Have gas or wood-burning appliances, heating and ventilation systems (including chimneys) inspected regularly.

· Inspect homes after heavy snow fall and make sure snow is removed from around exhaust stacks, vents, and fresh-air intakes.

· Buy a carbon monoxide detector for your home or apartment and make sure the detector meets Standard UL 2034 of the Underwriters Laboratory. Keep in mind that installing a detector is not a guarantee of safety, it is just one of the precautions you should take.

Things you should NOT do:

· Use a gas range or oven for heating your home

· Leave a car running in a closed garage

· Burn charcoal indoors

· Operate unvented fuel-burning appliances (including electric generators) indoors.

For more information on carbon monoxide and other indoor air quality pollutants, visit: http://www.epa.gov/iaq.

http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.ns ... C4005CA1E0
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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