What are some Carbon Monoxide Symptoms and Dangers?
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon Monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can be emitted by home appliances and can cause illness and death. Even low levels of carbon monoxide have been shown to be dangerous. Carbon monoxide poisoning produces flu-like symptoms, headache, sore throat, rapid heart beats, memory loss, thinking difficulties, and sensitivity to light, sound, smell, etc. Out of approximately 12,000 patients in the U.S. each year with flu-like symptoms, about 2,000 of them are thought to actually be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
What types of equipment produce carbon Monoxide?
All gas, oil, and coal appliances can produce acceptable levels of carbon monoxide. Appliances that are properly vented should never produce detectable levels and internally should produce less than 100 ppm of carbon monoxide. Un-vented appliances do give off carbon monoxide into the area; therefore the level that they produce should be 50 ppm of carbon monoxide or less. These appliances should only be operated with proper ventilation and for short periods of time. All ovens produce carbon monoxide, even electric ones. Proper ventilation is recommended, especially during warm-up and self-cleaning operation. Carbon monoxide from gas ranges increases each time the oven door is opened.
If my carbon monoxide detector doesn't go off, am I safe to assume that there are not dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in my home?
The standard carbon monoxide detectors on the market today will not alarm the homeowner of the presence of these low levels of carbon monoxide. The outdoor EPA carbon monoxide limit is 9 ppm. The only way that homeowners can detect these low levels of carbon monoxide in their homes is by contacting a Certified Analyst who has the knowledge and expertise to locate and correct the problem, or by purchasing a quality detector that can detect high and low levels of carbon monoxide.