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The Invisible Killer Nearly three hundred people in the United States alone die from the poisonous gas called carbon monoxide every year Several thousand others go to hospital emergency rooms for treatment of this serious adverse dormant gas every year as well CSPC 466 Carbon monoxide CO is a colorless tasteless odorless latent gas produced by the incomplete burning of solid liquid and gaseous fuels CPSC 464 Appliances fueled with natural gas coal liquefied petroleum oil kerosene or wood may produce carbon monoxide Cigarette smoke can also contain high levels of carbon monoxide in addition to over two hundred other known poisons Many of the people that die from carbon monoxide poisoning die from burning charcoal inside their homes garages and recreational vehicles Others dies form carbon monoxide produced by cars left running in garages attached to their houses Jain 17 Americans spend most of their lives indoors where hazardous air pollutants can exist at higher levels than outdoors Jain 12 Some people are more at risk than others are when exposed to carbon monoxide Both children and elderly have a higher risk for adverse health effects Carbon monoxide can also effect unborn babies infants pregnant women and those with anemia or any history of respiratory or heart disease CSPC 466 Even low levels of CO can cause fatigue and create chest pains in people with chronic heart disease Higher levels of carbon monoxide in the air can cause flu like symptoms such as dizziness headaches nausea confusion and weakness in even healthy people At extremely high levels carbon monoxide will cause loss of consciousness and will eventually lead to death CSPC 464 Many people mistake CO poisoning symptoms with the flu symptoms and are sometimes misdiagnosed by physicians which can tragically result in misfortunate deaths Large amounts of carbon monoxide can kill in minutes Obviously the more carbon monoxide in the air and the longer the exposure the greater the danger The
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