What is Carbon Monoxide Posioning?

Carbon Monoxide (CO)

According to CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Carbon monoxide is “an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death” (2006).

Where is this killer gas found and what can happen when you have CO poisoning?  We can discuss some of those concerns here and prepare you with understanding of the dangers involved with Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.


When cars, stoves, burning charchoal, and gas heating systems such as funaces and boilers produce combustion fumes, CO is found in the exhaust.  The odorless gas can accumulate in “enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces” (CDC 2006), and people will get CO poisoning when breathing it in.


“Headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion” (CDC 2006) characterize the symptoms of CO poisoning, and severe poisoning can lead to loss of consciousness and even death!

Why is CO so dangerous? CO can be picked up by Red Blood Cells in the blood stream much quicker than oxygen, and can possibly replace oxygen in blood if there is high concentration of CO in the air.  This can cause lack of oxygen supply to the body tissues and cells, and thus causing health hazard and eventual death.

Therefore, to avoid the dangers of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, it is very important to “have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year” (CDC 2006).

Source from:

“Carbon Monoxide Poisoning.” www.cdc.gov. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, July 2006. Web. 9 Dec. 2011.