by Mark Tarses

Carbon monoxide is probably the worst poison you will ever come into contact with in your lifetime. Yes, there are more toxic poisons, like mustard gas and arsenic, but very very few people will ever come into contact with them.

Carbon monoxide is an especially dangerous poison because it is colorless, odorless, tasteless. Carbon monoxide kills without warning. Every year, hundreds of people in the United States are killed by CO.

Carbon monoxide is a highly toxic gas. At only 400 PPM (Parts Per Million), carbon monoxide will cause nausea and convulsions. At 800 PPM, it is fatal. When carbon monoxide is inhaled at very low levels (50 PPM or less), it can result in permanent injuries, including chronic headaches and incurable damage to the heart, brain, and other vital organs.

Carbon monoxide can cause a person to pass out without warning. Systems of carbon monoxide poisoning can be similar to the flu, including dizziness, nausea, and headaches. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often mistaken for other things - until it is too late!

Carbon monoxide poisoning has many causes. All CO deaths are preventable. Here are some things you can do:

  • Never use your kitchen stove or your oven to heat your home.
  • Never use charcoal or propane grills indoors. This is very dangerous.
  • Never leave a car running inside a garage.
  • Never use an unvented kerosene or gas heater indoors.
  • Never burn trash in a fireplace.
  • Make sure the fireplace damper is open before using it.

    If you suspect that a gas appliance is not working or venting properly, call PG&E. They will come and check your gas appliances for free! It is a great service!

    I will provide you with a free carbon monoxide detector, the good kind with a back-up battery (in case of a power blackout), digital display, and test button.

    A carbon monoxide detector works by sampling the air around it. Therefore, it is critical that the area around the detector must be unobstructed. If you push furniture right up to the carbon monoxide detector, it wonąt work properly!

    Your safety is important to me, but you have to do your part! After all, its your life!

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