A guide to carbon monoxide...

When can carbon monoxide levels rise rapidly?

Carbon monoxide levels in a persons body and bloodstream can rise in any situation where a person (or animal) breathes air containing higher than normal levels of carbon monoxide.

The instant a person is exposed to a higher than safe level of carbon monoxide in the air they breath, they will begin to be starved of oxygen and start being poisoned as carbon monoxide levels in their blood stream rise above normal. It then becomes a question of how serious the poisoning is.

Carbon monoxide levels rise in 'zones and corridors'

Carbon monoxide levels rise in and around parking lots that have spikes in vehicle traffic such parkades and parking lots at major events. These create zones of elevated carbon monoxide and pollution.

Busy highways and roadways, particularly those close to dense areas and large buildings create "corridors" of elevated carbon monoxide levels and pollution.

Newer buildings increase the risk of rising carbon monoxide levels

Modern buildings are much more airtight which allows carbon monoxide levels in the air to rise fast if there is a nearby source of carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs most often indoors, in semi-enclosed spaces and in confined spaces.

Cold weather increases the risk of rising carbon monoxide levels

The largest numbers of poisonings occur in winter when fireplaces, furnaces and boilers are being used to keep buildings warm.

Vehicles are also left idling more during winter. This creates circumstances that can easily cause carbon monoxide levels to rise within a vehicle and the surrounding area (such as a garage).

During winter, doors and windows are shut to keep the heat in and the cold out. This can easily trap unsafe carbon monoxide levels in a home, vehicle or work area.

The instant carbon monoxide is unable to properly vent outside or disperse into the atmosphere the carbon monoxide levels in the air can rise dangerously.

Power outages increase the risk of rising carbon monoxide levels

Power outages and natural disasters greatly increase the carbon monoxide risk as people are placed in unfamiliar circumstances using unfamiliar equipment.

Generators increase the risk of rising carbon monoxide levels

Gasoline and diesel electric generators add to the number of poisonings, especially when used by people that are unfamiliar with the equipment.

Many generator carbon monoxide poisonings occur during power outages and natural disasters. The number of poisonings continues to rise as generators become less expensive and more common.

Your comments about carbon monoxide poisoning...

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Tina from AK
Even though I live in an area with pretty much perfect air, I work right next to quite a busy parking lot. Lots of traffic and I constantly seem to be smelling exhaust fumes.

Even if I was not getting any carbon monoxide, I am getting all kinds of toxins from the exhaust gases.

I now feel mentally foggy and really tired quite often and have let my supervisor know about it but he discounts what I have to say.

What about highways and parking lots
What about parking lot areas and roadways that have heavy traffic.

Surely areas like these have carbon monoxide bubbles or corridors?

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