Spotlight On – Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Unsafe gas appliances can cause the release of a highly poisonous gas: carbon monoxide (CO). You can’t taste it, see it, or smell it – but it can kill quickly. It can also cause serious long term health problems such as brain damage.

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas, is caused by the incomplete burning of gas and Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG). Oils and solid fuels such as coal and wood can also produce carbon monoxide. This can happen when a gas appliance has been incorrectly fitted, repaired or maintained, or when flues, chimneys or vents are blocked.

What is carbon monoxide poisoning?

Even inhaling small amounts of the gas can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. When you inhale CO, it enters your blood stream, stopping red blood cells from carrying oxygen. Lack of oxygen causes issues for body tissue and cells. Levels that don’t kill can cause serious health problems that include paralysis and brain damage.

Often, long term effects are the result of people being unaware of unsafe gas appliances or gas leaks, and so they inhale small amounts of carbon monoxide over a long period of time.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?

  1. Headaches
  2. Dizziness
  3. Nausea
  4. Breathlessness
  5. Collapse
  6. Loss of consciousness

carbon monoxide poisoning

You should seek medical attention if you believe you may be at risk of CO poisoning. Other signs that point to carbon monoxide poisoning include symptoms only occurring when you are at home, or others in your household (including pets) experiencing similar symptoms.

For more information about carbon monoxide poisoning, see the Gas Safe website , or the NHS choices page.

 Don’t hesitate to get in touch if we can assist with your health and safety needs. 

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