Carbon Monoxide Poisoning; Symptoms and Causes
With just days to go until Gas Safety Week, which focuses on keeping the nation Gas Safe, at Direct Heating, we’d like to highlight Carbon Monoxide poisoning. From feeling dizzy to headaches and sickness, would you know all of the danger signs? So read on this week to find out more about Carbon Monoxide poisoning.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is a gas produced by burning gasoline or other fuels. It’s also badly ventilated appliances like fires and boilers that can cause it to rise to poisonous levels. It’s, therefore, highly dangerous and is a gas that has no colour, smell or taste. Breathing it in can make you very unwell and it can even kill if you’re exposed to high levels.
Causes of Carbon Monoxide Leaks
Carbon Monoxide poisoning is most often caused by faulty household appliances. This is why it’s imperative they are regularly checked and why an annual boiler service is very important. As well as badly ventilated appliances, other causes can be if they’re improperly installed or poorly maintained. This is cookers, heaters and central heating boilers, in homes and even caravans. Other possible causes of Carbon Monoxide poisoning are blocked chimneys and also flues because this can stop the gas from dispersing as normal, allowing it to reach deadly levels.
The Effects of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
According to statistics from the NHS, there are around 60 deaths from accidental Carbon Monoxide poisoning each year. After breathing the gas in, it enters the bloodstream, stopping the body from being able to circulate oxygen.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Symptoms
Carbon Monoxide poisoning symptoms are not always easy to spot, however, here are six of the most common ones even during low-level exposure.
Tension Headaches – Nausea and Stomach Pain – Breathlessness
Collapse – Dizziness and Confusion – Loss of Consciousness
Some other symptoms may feel like food poisoning, a hangover or even the flu but thankfully CO poisoning does not raise temperature making this symptom easier to spot. After exposure to gas, symptoms can take hold in around 2 hours, however, long-term exposure to low levels can also lead to neurological problems like emotional changes.
Suspect Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?
If you’re concerned that you’ve been exposed to even low levels of carbon monoxide, seek medical attention from your local GP or A&E for higher levels. Any of the above symptoms will indicate CO poisoning but a blood test will confirm the amount. A level of just 30% can be very severe so it’s not something you want to delay.
Sign Up and Be a Part of Gas Safety Week
Thank you for reading this week’s post to highlight Carbon Monoxide poisoning. If you suspect a leak please get in touch with our team and seek medical attention quickly. September the 16th to the 22nd marks this year’s Gas Safety Week and it will see many organisations across the UK working together to combat this issue. Created to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, thousands are already signed up to be part of it – will you get involved this year? Thank you for reading.