Author: Maria Richmond for HomeSafe.com
It has no smell, nor can you see carbon monoxide, yet it is very dangerous and kills several hundred people each year.
Carbon monoxide is produced by fuel burning appliances such as, gas space heaters, gas furnaces, wood burning stoves, fireplaces, gas dryers, gas ranges, ovens, even your car. If your appliance is working properly, it will not produce enough carbon monoxide to be harmful. If it is not functioning properly, carbon monoxide can leak from the appliance in amounts that can be harmful, even fatal if enough is inhaled.
Carbon monoxide is absorbed through the bloodstream. Carbon monoxide in the bloodstream makes it impossible for oxygen to be absorbed by your vital organs. When your organs are unable to have access to, nor able to utilize oxygen, they starve and become unable to function.
Children and pregnant women (the fetus) are at even greater risks of CO poisoning. Children naturally have a higher metabolic rate. This means that they require higher amounts of oxygen for their vital organs, like their hearts and brain. When CO interferes with the delivery of oxygen to these vital organs, children can suffer severe complications from CO poisoning, such as brain damage and death.
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