Carbon Monoxide Poisoning—at Home or Camp

SUMMARY

Carbon monoxide (CO) causes upward of 400 deaths and results in the hospitalization of more than 4,000 people each year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Many of those falling ill don’t know they have CO poisoning because it is a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas. With proper inspection and housekeeping, Scouts and community members alike can prevent CO poisoning.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Causes of CO Release and Exposure
CO is a byproduct of many of your day-to-day activities. It is found in the fumes from gas stoves and lanterns, fireplaces, and the burning of charcoal, as well as from motor vehicles such as cars and boats. Additionally, CO poisoning most often occurs when the fumes are released within the confines of a small or closed-off room.

Sources of CO 
Car left running 
Portable generators 
Portable kerosene or gas heaters/lanterns 
Loose or broken ventilation pipes 
Improperly installed kitchen range or vent 
Operating a grill indoors or in garage 
Gas or wood-burning fireplace

(Possible) Symptoms of Poisoning
Headache
Weakness
Dizziness
Nausea
Confusion
Disorientation
Sleepiness

In More Severe Cases
Fluid in the lungs (pulmonary edema)
Neurological disorders

 

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning—at Home or Camp Podcast