Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas. You may not know you are breathing it until you begin to experience the symptoms of its poisoning effect. Carbon monoxide poisoning has been blamed for the deaths of many people, in their homes. It has also been known to seep into the cab areas of vehicles causing illness. One of the lesser known sources is boat motors when being towed too close behind a boat.
The Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
The Mayo Clinic has an extensive list of symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. These include:
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
- Nausea/ vomiting
- Shortness of breath
A person may experience one or a range of symptoms. Unfortunately, symptoms may be so subtle that they could easily be ignored. However, immediate medical attention may be required. Carbon monoxide poisoning presents a life-threatening emergency.
The Process of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Carbon monoxide is found in combustion fumes. When these fumes are inhaled, the body is unable to differentiate between oxygen and carbon monoxide. Instead of absorbing oxygen into the red blood cells, carbon monoxide is absorbed. Consequently, the body’s tissues and organs become starved of oxygen.
Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause brain damage, due to the absence of oxygen. Death occurs when too much carbon monoxide is absorbed into the system.
Causes of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Most people are aware of carbon monoxide in the exhaust of gas-powered vehicles. Usually, it is expelled through the exhaust pipe in the back of the vehicle. However, a broken exhaust system or holes in the floor of the vehicle could cause exhaust fumes to collect in the cab. If this were to happen, the people in the car would have symptoms of poisoning.
Home heating systems have also been known to leak carbon monoxide into the home, causing problems for the inhabitants. In worse case scenarios, people have died due to carbon monoxide leaks. These tragedies usually occur when people are sleeping. There have been cases where individuals have used charcoal grills indoors in closed spaces, and carbon monoxide has built up to dangerous levels.
Steps to Take to Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
There are many effective carbon monoxide detectors on the market today. It’s important to read the installation directions carefully and place the detectors in the right areas. A motorist who has concerns about exhaust collecting in the cab of their vehicle can install detectors for assurance. When the problem is due to exhaust affecting riders being towed behind a motorboat, the solution is to make sure the distance between the boat and the craft being towed is at least 20 feet. This will prevent those being towed from breathing the boat motor exhaust fumes.
Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of those things that can easily be prevented, in most cases, when the correct precautions are taken. Keep yourself and your family safe by being aware of the causes of this deadly condition and take the steps that can prevent it from happening.
The lawyers at Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., encourage you to take precautions against carbon monoxide poisoning. We also encourage you to call us when you have legal issues involving personal injury or wrongful death. Residents of Port Charlotte, North Port and Englewood are invited to contact us for excellent legal assistance. We are the lawyers who care.