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How to Detect Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In Your Home

14 August 2020

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible killer. An undetectable, odorless, lethal gas responsible for many deaths across the world. In the UK, about 60 people die each year of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the NHS. 

A large share (read 56%) of these accidental CO poisoning deaths occurred in a house than in any other place. In short, danger lurks in our houses.

Source


The true figures of these deaths are, most probably, higher as CO poisoning symptoms aren't too specific for medical experts to form a conclusive opinion.

According to the Centers for Disease and Control (CDC), approximately 50,000 people are admitted to emergency rooms in America, and over 400 succumb to accidental CO poisoning every year. 

During winter months, the above numbers skyrocket thanks to overworked heating systems. For your safety and that of your loved ones, test for carbon monoxide in your home. Find out its sources, too. 

CO is produced when fuels such as charcoal, kerosene, propane, and wood, etc fail to burn properly during use. Common sources of lethal CO gas include charcoal grills, lanterns, stoves, and small gas engines.

How Can I Recognise the Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

The reason carbon monoxide is deadly is that it gets absorbed in the bloodstream with little to no effort. The body’s red blood cells pick up carbon monoxide quicker than they do oxygen.

The results? Death or severe brain damage. That explains why CO levels in an enclosed room (i.e, office, house, tent, store, etc) is a very serious issue.

Carbon monoxide symptoms are similar to those of food poisoning, gastroenteritis, and flu. People who are asleep or who have been drinking alcohol can die from CO poisoning without ever having symptoms. (See why it goes undetected?). 

Symptoms of CO poisoning are classified into three main categories: mild, moderate, and severe.

Mild

Moderate

  • Poor concentration
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Unsteadiness
  • Dizziness
  • Feeling weak

Severe

  • Death
  • Coma
  • Seizures

If everyone in your home is often sick at the same time—including pets—carbon monoxide is most probably the source of your problems.

Although everyone is susceptible to CO poisoning, people with breathing problems (asthma or bronchitis), anemia, heart disease, and infants, are more likely to succumb to its effects quicker.

How Do You Treat Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

There’s no known remedy for carbon monoxide poisoning or treatment for injuries caused by long-term exposure.

However, acute exposure to CO poisoning is treatable with the administration of 100% pure oxygen, and medical care. In severe cases, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is necessary. This specialized form of therapy involves administering pure oxygen (at high pressure) to a patient enclosed in a hyperbaric chamber.

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Although it remains controversial, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is believed to improve the severe neurological effects of long-term CO poisoning exposure. 

There’s no evidence of its effectiveness but it's often a recommended option for severe nerve damage. Few centers administer this therapy though.

What are the Best CO Poisoning Prevention Tips?

You can avoid CO poisoning in your home through 1) common sense, and 2) simple prevention measures.

For example, fire-related carbon monoxide poisoning is 100% preventable. You just need to properly install (and maintain) smoke detectors, and you’re good to go. Here are prevention tips for carbon monoxide poisoning in your home:

  • Never heat your home using a gas range or oven.
  • Leaving your vehicle’s engine running in an enclosed space such as the garage is a recipe for CO poisoning.
  • To avoid flying debris from blocking ventilation lines in your home, keep flues and vents free from debris.
  • Never run a gasoline-powered machine, pressure washer, or a generator, in your basement even if all the windows and doors are open.
  • Never use a charcoal grill inside a camper, tent, or home. In fact, never use a portable camping stove or lantern in an enclosed structure.
  • If the weather is too hot or too cold outside, it’s best to seek shelter with a community or with friends.
  • Consult a health care expert immediately in case you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning in your home.

Alternative Method of Testing for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Indoor Air Quality Test

This test is by far the most accurate way of testing for the presence of carbon monoxide in a home.

Private companies often perform indoor air quality and improvement tests including CO poisoning testing—at reduced rates. The same for utility companies and municipal fire departments.

But the best tool to use for indoor air quality tests is the VBreathe Tasman Indoor Air Detoxifier

Indoor air detoxifiers are devices that help to filter particles and disperses VActive Gel into the air to reduce harmful indoor toxins, mold, microbes, and bacteria.

VBreathe_Components

And the best part? It’s portable and intelligent. It combines medical-grade HEPA Filtration with an all-natural VActive Gel technology to deliver the best indoor air quality for you.

Here’s what you’ll get from this detoxifier:

VBreathe_Gel_FilterSuperior protection.

  • Protects you from harmful indoor toxins and pathogens that lurk on the surfaces and in the air.

Medical-grade filtration.

  • Traps 97% of fine particles and reduces harmful indoor microbes and toxins in the layers of its medical-grade HEPA filters, which uses a proprietary anti-bacterial coating.

VActive Gel.

  • The all-natural and food-safe VActive Gel contains a blend of essential oils often expelled in the form of vapor into the surrounding air. It cleans the surrounding air by reducing harmful airborne pathogens.

Smart Sensors.

  • The Vbreathe Tasman Indoor Air Detoxifier has in-built smart sensors that detect carbon monoxide, mould, smoke, and harmful PM2.5 particles in the air.

Final Thoughts

Remember to take crucial steps to help protect you and your family against carbon monoxide poisoning. This colorless, undetectable gas is not only toxic but lethal. It’s a silent killer. And a cause for many deaths across the world.

Keep away from fumes often produced by burning wood or charcoal as much as you can. And avoid using gas ranges, lanterns, stoves, and furnaces especially in enclosed spaces such as campers, tents, houses, etc.

And if you suspect your indoor air quality is poor or, worse, contaminated by harmful toxins, mold, and microbes, get a portable, technologically advanced indoor air detoxifier. Your body will thank you for it.

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VBreathe

VBreathe Tasman is an intelligent and portable indoor air detoxifier.

Our world-first patented combination of HEPA filtration and VActive natural gel technology radically improves indoor air quality by not only filtering heavy particles through the device, but also by dispersing VActive Gel into the air to reduce harmful indoor bacteria, viruses, microbes, mould and toxins.

Find out more