Carbon Monoxide: The Silent Assassin

Ninja Assassin

As the oncoming cold winter temperatures chase people indoors for much of North America, stories of the silent assassin are bound to emerge in the media.

The assassin is of course carbon monoxide. It’s a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is slightly lighter than air and toxic to humans and animals when encountered in higher concentrations.

The early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning – fatigue, headache and nausea – could easily be mistaken for the flu or over-exhaustion.

Which is what happens in many cases. The sufferer, having misidentified the symptoms, retires to bed early and never awakens.

CO kills so softly by slowly and almost undetectably replacing the oxygen in the bloodstream until the victim suffocates to death.

First Prevention…

The best way to prevent CO poisoning is to never allow it in your premise to begin with. Among some of the most common generators of CO are gas and kerosene heaters, gas ranges, wood stoves and furnaces. Exhaust from idling cars is another dangerous offender, and very preventable.

If you have any paint thinners or varnish removers in your garage or room of your business or home, make sure the area is well ventilated. These substances are laden with methylene chloride, which converts into carbon monoxide when inhaled into the body.

Then Protection

Your second line of defence against CO are Carbon monoxide detectors. There are several types of sensor technologies on the market, varying in price from $20-$70 (or more) but all of them give off a jarring alarm sound just like a smoke detector.

The “value add” on the best CO detectors are that they can detect even trace levels of Carbon monoxide. You’ll pay more for this technology than the standard devices, but the price is certainly justified if it prevents the slow poisioning that can occur in you and others.

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