2017-09-26 / Front Page

Beware of carbon monoxide poisoning

Purdue Extension Corner

As we prepare for the fall season, I would like to share information on the topic of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. Carbon Monoxide (CO) also known as CO is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill an individual. “CO is found in fumes developed during the times we burn fuel in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. CO can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017).

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports each year at least 430 people in the United States die from accidental CO poisoning (2017). CO poisoning symptoms commonly include headache, dizziness, chest pain, and confusion. The CDC Reports: People who are sleeping or who have been drinking alcohol can die from CO poisoning before ever having symptoms” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017). Since CO poisoning is preventable, I would like to share tips identified by the CDC to keep you and your family safe from CO poisoning.

Tip 1: Avoid leaving the motor in your vehicle running while parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed place, like a garage.

Tip 2: Change the batteries of your CO detector every six months.

Tip 3: “Never run a generator, pressure washer, or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open, unless the equipment is professionally installed and vented. Keep vents and flues free of debris, especially if winds are high. Flying debris can block ventilation lines” (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017).

Tip 4: Avoid burning items in an unvented stove and/or fireplace.

Information for this article comes from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit our homepage at www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or you can contact the local Purdue Extension Office by calling 765.653.8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs. While many publications are free, some do have a fee. All times listed are Eastern Time.

(by Jennifer Cannon, Extension Educator Health & Human Sciences Purdue Extension - Putnam County)

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