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What is carbon monoxide?


Carbon monoxide, also known as CO, is called the “Invisible Killer” because it's a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. More than 150 people in the Unites States die every year from accidental nonfire-related CO poisoning associated with consumer products, including generators. Other products include faulty, improperly-used or incorrectly-vented fuel-burning appliances such as furnaces, stoves, water heaters and fireplaces. Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission

Know the symptoms of CO poisoning

Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission
Because CO is odorless, colorless, and otherwise undetectable to the human senses, people may not know that they are being exposed. The initial symptoms of low to moderate CO poisoning are similar to the flu (but without the fever). They include:
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
High level CO poisoning results in progressively more severe symptoms, including:
  • Mental confusion
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of muscular coordination
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Ultimately death
Outreach materials from the U.S. Fire Administration
  
Download this handout and add your organizations logo
English PDF 596kb | Spanish PDF 592kb

carbonmonoxide.232x300.jpg
Download this handout and add your organizations logo
English PDF 195kb | Spanish PDF 189kb
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