A guide to carbon monoxide...

Sources of carbon monoxide that caused one-time poisonings (acute CO poisoning)

Sources of carbon monoxide are everywhere. So are the circumstances that can cause carbon monoxide levels to rise above normal, resulting in one-time poisoning (acute CO poisoning).

Real sources of carbon monoxide that caused one-time poisonings:

Furnaces and gas appliances are sources of carbon monoxide:

  • A furnace is improperly installed and becomes a deadly source of carbon monoxide in the home. A family is seriously poisoned.

Vehicles are sources of carbon monoxide:

  • A group of friends socialize in a vehicle in a parking lot on a cold winter day. The car is left running and a small hole in the exhaust system becomes a source of carbon monoxide into the car. All are severely poisoned.

  • A vehicle is started and left idling in the garage. The source of carbon monoxide vents exhaust gases into the home through the connecting walls. All in the home are poisoned.

  • A person attempts carbon monoxide suicide by sitting in their running vehicle in a closed garage.

  • A man drives home in winter. His vehicle is unable to climb an icy hill near his home and slides backward into a ditch, getting stuck in the snow. Unharmed he walks to his nearby home. The next morning he calls a tow truck and walks to his vehicle. It is cold so he starts his vehicle while waiting for the tow truck. When it arrives the man is found dead. The accident caused compacted snow to freeze around the exhaust system, blocking it from venting properly. Carbon monoxide entered the vehicle and poisoned the owner without him ever realizing it was happening.

Boats are sources of carbon monoxide:

  • A family spends the day boating and floating out on the water. The battery is drained by the stereo and the motor is started to recharge the battery while everyone swims near the swim platform. All are sickened from carbon monoxide exposure.

  • A father launches the family power boat and starts the motor. He suddenly realises he did not put the plug in the boat and it will sink. As it is a hot day he dives into the water with the plug. He breaths air in the area close to the running motor (the source of carbon monoxide). He is seriously sickened by his carbon monoxide exposure.

Power outages and natural disasters can create unfamiliar "sources of carbon monoxide":

  • A generator started near a home and left running near an open window. All in the home are poisoned.
  • It is a cold day and there is a power outage. A family uses their camping stove to cook dinner in their home. All are poisoned.

Work place sources of carbon monoxide

  • A farm worker dies of carbon monoxide poisoning while using a gasoline powered pressure washer to clean a barn. He had been exposed for only about 30 minutes.

  • A employee at an indoor water treatment plant loses consciousness while working in a large room with a gasoline-powered pump. The doors were wide open in the work area.

  • Five workers are treated for carbon monoxide poisoning after using gasoline-powered pressure washers in an underground garage.

  • A plumber used a gasoline-powered concrete saw in a basement with open doors and windows. He experiences a severe carbon monoxide headache and dizziness and displays paranoia.

Camping sources of carbon monoxide

  • A family on a camping trip uses their camp stove to warm up their tent on a cold night. All are seriously poisoned. Even the most unlikely sources of carbon monoxide can cause serious CO poisoning.

Other sources of carbon monoxide

  • A furnace vents its exhaust between two commercial buildings. The installation of a new air conditioning system in the hotel next door sucks carbon monoxide into the hallways and guest rooms. Everyone in the area is sickened.

Some jobs have a higher risk of CO poisoning as they involve being around sources of carbon monoxide.

Over time, survivors of one-time carbon monoxide poisoning may find that additional symptoms reveal themselves in several ways.

For every survivor there is healing journey that must be travelled on the road ahead. Their carbon monoxide poisoning may turn out to a nasty scare and a brush with death.

We wish it were that way for all survivors but it is not. The carbon monoxide poisoning itself may only be the begining of a long hard journey on the road to carbon monoxide recovery. Their life may never be the same.

Your comments about carbon monoxide poisoning...

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Mysterious Levels of Carbon Monoxide
A family of three who rent my two bedroom home heard their new carbon monoxide detector sound off. They called the fire dept. and the house was cleared by fans. Their readings showed safe levels and they re-lit the new hot water tank but a heating expert had to be called the next day to check out the furnace. They found no problems with the furnace and turned it back on. We checked the roof vent for obstructions. All other appliances are electric. The detector has not gone off again, so far, and I went down the list of all other sources such as charcoal grills, space heaters, generators were ruled out. There is no attached garage. I have HVAC training & experience but am stumped on this one. Any thoughts? The furnace (at least 10 yrs. old) is located in the middle of the home in a closet. I ran it during the time I rennovated the home; at least a month.

Long term effects from my car
I had an accident that lead me to be exposed to direct diesel fumes in my car. It took me almost a day to drive somewhere and I cannot remember the day - yet it should have taken me only 2 hours to complete the drive. That was more than 5 years ago and I am still having problems with memory, moods, cognition, and functioning.

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