Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

| March 6, 2017

Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that has no smell, no color, and most commonly occurs as the byproduct of burning fuel, whether from a furnace, an auto engine, or a forklift. In high concentrations, carbon monoxide prevents red blood cells from transporting oxygen. Beware carbon monoxide leaks, because they cannot be seen, smelled or heard!

Initial Exposure High or Prolonged Exposure
Chest tightening Vomiting
Headache Confusion
Fatigue Loss of Consciousness
Dizziness Muscle Weakness

To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, be alert to ventilation problems in enclosed areas. Report dizziness, drowsiness, or nausea complaints. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, leave the contaminated area and avoid overexertion. Tell your doctor of any potential carbon monoxide exposure, and avoid the use of gas-powered engines while working in enclosed spaces.

If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, turn off non-electrical appliances, breathe fresh air, and leave doors open when you exit. Additionally, contact the fire department and seek medical attention immediately.

If you suspect someone has been poisoned, move the victim immediately to fresh air in an open area and call 911. If the victim is unconscious, administer CPR. When attempting to rescue, be careful! You may be exposed to harmful levels of carbon monoxide!

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