A guide to carbon monoxide...

Carbon monoxide sources around us

Carbon monoxide sources are all around us including:

Home carbon monoxide sources:

  • Furnace (natural gas, propane, oil, wood)

  • Fireplace (gas, wood, coal)

  • Stove (gas, wood)

  • Dryer (gas only)

  • Barbeque (gas, charcoal)

  • Gasoline/petrol powered garden tools

  • Generator (gasoline, diesel, propane)

  • carbon monoxide in cigarettes and tobacco smoke

carbon monoxide sources


Vehicles carbon monoxide sources:

  • Cars, trucks, vans, recreational vehicles, campers, camper

  • shells, transport, buses

  • Gasoline/petrol

  • Diesel

  • Propane

  • Natural gas

Boats carbon monoxide sources:

  • carbon monoxide poisoning is surprisingly common in recreational motor-boating situations, especially for people swimming around swim platforms and boarding ladders located close to the motor exhaust area.

  • Even a mild case of CO poisoning can be made lethal because there is a risk of drowning when the effects of the poisoning take hold.

  • Gasoline/petrol

  • Diesel

Camping carbon monoxide sources:

  • carbon monoxide poisoning can easily happen when campers bring a heater into a tent.

  • Heater (propane, kerosene)

  • Generator (gasoline, diesel, propane)

  • Camp fire

Travel carbon monoxide sources:

  • Many hotel, motel and dormitory rooms are heated with individual heating units. There could be hundreds of rooms and heating units in a building which increases the risk of sporadic (or unqualified) maintenance.

  • The proximity of heating units to each other also increases the risk that the exhaust venting from one unit could get drawn into the air intake in another unit. In an ideal world this would never happen but weather, onsite conditions, and maintenance issues increase the risk of CO exposure.

Work carbon monoxide sources:

  • Carbon monoxide is a common industrial hazard resulting from the incomplete burning of natural gas and any other material containing carbon such as gasoline/petrol, kerosene, oil, propane, coal, or wood

  • Gasoline powered tools such as pressure washers, chain saws, concrete-cutting saws, power trowels, floor buffers, and welders

  • Propane powered forklifts and other equipment

  • Forges, blast furnaces, and coke ovens

  • Carbon monoxide is produced in large amounts by some industrial processes

  • Paint removers/strippers containing methylene chloride also "create" carbon monoxide. Though methylene chloride does not give off carbon monoxide, the vapors are converted (metabolized) within the body into carbon monoxide. As a result, a person can suffer carbon monoxide poisoning from inhaling methylene chloride vapors.

Other carbon monoxide sources:

  • Indoor ice arenas (from engines on ice resurfacing equipment)

  • Indoor car and motor shows

  • Any environment in which combustion engines are used or burning is done, under conditions of insufficient ventilation

  • Forest and bush fires

  • Around kilns in pottery studios and industrial applications

  • Any kind of fire in a building, vehicle, boat, plane, or semi enclosed space

Your comments about carbon monoxide poisoning...

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Questions? Want to share your opinion? Do it here...
carbon dioxide
thomas gartland from england
I keep getting headaches feeling sick tired worn out outer breath hot an cold coughing gunge up

adverse effects of living near a major road
Donna C from Pennsylvania
we grew up near a major road and many of our family and neighbors have many of the same symptoms including mental and behavioral issues. can you tell me if you know of any cases where it has been established that the location was the common cause of similar issues including suicides? Any information to help us get a resolve to this issue is greatly appreciated.

you also forgot
lea from ohio
You also did not mention or include sewer gases as a source of carbon monoxide

you also forgot
lea from ohio
You also did not mention or include sewer gases as a source of carbon monoxide

carbon monoxide poisoning
Rose
I have a pellet stove, can this cause carbon monoxide poisoning

Intentional poisoning via exhaust?
Brian Seymour from Northwestern California
My wife and I are now at loggerheads with our apartment manager about an issue with two neighbors who operate their dryers 10-12 hours per day (using multiple dryer sheets, to which we have become sensitized) and vent them across an eight-foot fenced breezeway from our apartment. We have asked him to curb this behavior, but he explicitly refuses to do this, and became angry when we wouldn\'t shut up about it.

This resulted in an exchange of notices. He sent us a three-day \"Cure or Quit Notice\" claiming that we were harassing the neighbors and telling us that we had to get rid of two of our three cats immediately. Since the lease mentions nothing about number of pets, and since that manager has been in our home six times since we moved in (in each case petting and praising our cats), this claim didn\'t hold water. I responded with a notice of my own, on advice of counsel, repudiating his claims and demanding that he repair problems we\'ve been reporting for the past three months without effect.

The manager began to address some of the repairs and abandoned his efforts to coerce us into silence with legal threats. But he also resented our failure to knuckle under, and since that date his daughter has taken to idling their family van, with its tailpipe some seven feet from our front door and under our bedroom window, for periods of up to thirteen minutes each morning. This \"warmup\" is unnecessary (as shown by the fact that she only began doing it within the past two weeks), and the van is an old one that emits dense clouds of exhaust.

To make matters worse, there is another tenant in the building behind us who has an SUV with a modified exhaust and disabled muffler, and takes apparent delight in disturbing her neighbors by idling it for four to nine minutes per morning at high engine speeds. Since this dispute with the manager began, she has intensified this pattern of behavior; in fact, this morning, she backed into the space for the first and only time, putting her tailpipe within four feet of our back door, and proceeded to idle for four minutes with massive clouds of exhaust billowing over our fence and into our patio area.

Each time one of these idling incidents occurs, my wife and I find ourselves with persistent frontal headaches, foggy brains and a feeling of fatigue that never quite goes away, although it diminishes slightly when we leave our apartment. Our home is a small one, and it doesn\'t take long for the exhaust to permeate it, and it is becoming increasingly apparent that this behavior is intentional and motivated by spite.

The manager has also taken to slandering us to everyone who\'ll listen (two days ago, I overheard him telling his next-door neighbor we were \"crazy,\" which led to that neighbor giving us some very odd and insulting looks and making taunting gestures), and we think he\'s behind the behavior of the neighbor behind us as well as that of his (17-year-old) daughter. He has also openly threatened to kill me if he ever again saw me photographing his vehicle; I have therefore continued to take photographs (reasoning that I may need them as evidence), but very circumspectly.

Having defamed us, the manager has apparently gone on to recruit tenants who, he says, are willing to testify that we have gone around the complex harassing neighbors, peering through windows and otherwise causing problems; none of this is true, but as my attorney observes, such claims are difficult to refute. (Ironically, our best hope of doing so may lie in footage from the surveillance cameras that the manager keeps trained on our apartment -- and the others in our building -- from front and back, in such a manner that we can\'t leave or return to our home without his knowledge. If he\'s preserved the footage, it will show that we have not -- at least within the ambit of the cameras -- engaged in the conduct he asserts.)

For the moment, I am continuing to record these episodes and photograph the vehicles at the beginning and end of the idling periods. I meet with my attorney on Wednesday, and will show him the photos then.

Meanwhile, I\'d like to ask the operators and readers of this site to weigh in on this question: *How much harm can someone intentionally inflict on a neighbor with idling behavior such as I have described?* I know that my wife and I feel that our health has sustained damage, but this is subjective and not confirmed by any formal diagnosis.

Also: What recourse do we have? Our attorney is hesitant to act because of his fear of the suborned testimony of neighbors acting under the manager\'s influence and direction, but we can\'t just go on taking it; diagnosed or not, our misery is quite real and getting worse.

Please let us know what you think.

My Neighbors Truck
Susan DeVoy
I have a neighbor who backs his truck into our drive and when he starts his truck in the morning, I can smell exhaust in my home. I live in a mobile home park and we share a 4 car parking area. His truck is backed up to the corner of my house right by the kitchen window. The other day he ran the truck for 20-25 minutes, I became sick to the stomach, dizzy, headache and had the shakes. I went outside to get some fresh air and to tell him he needed to move the truck. He was in the house.

When I finally got hold of him by phone, he hung up on me! He did call back later and said he was sorry and would not back the truck in anymore. He is back home after 2 days being gone and is still backing the truck in. Do I have any rights? I sleep for 2-4 hours in the afternoon and sometimes go back to sleep a couple of hours later. I am cold all the time and so tired.

I don't want to make a mountain out of a molehill but, I am wondering if that is why I am so tired lately.

Mike from CO
I live on a ranch with hundreds of cows that spend much of their time in enclosed spaces. They produce huge amounts of fart gas. Is any of it carbon monoxide?

you forgot something
Firefly from Seattle
You forgot to include aircraft in your list of sources of carbon monoxide. One jet aircraft operation can produce as much CO as 8,000 cars just for a few minutes of idling time.

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