What is Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is also known as carbonous oxide(CO) is renowned as the silent killer. It is life-threatening if we are exposed to this gas in a closed area like room. Combustion of carbon containing oil like gasoline, propane, coal, wood, kerosene or natural gas are the chief producer of carbon monoxide in our environment. Carbon monoxide is also produced by natural sources such as volcanic explosion and forest fire and man made sources such as disposition of hydrocarbons by factories. However, it’s presence is very short lived and cannot stay in the atmosphere for long time as it reacts with oxygen to produce carbon dioxide and ozone.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is extremely injurious to health as it affects haemoglobin of blood. In our body, haemoglobin carries oxygen to every cell and is responsible for effective cellular respiration. When carbon monoxide comes in contact with haemoglobin it instantly forms a poisonous material known as carboxyhemoglobin, which makes haemoglobin incapable of transporting oxygen to vital organs of our body such as heart, lungs and kidney.

Facts about carbon monoxide

Any animal can die instantly if it inhales good amount of carbon monoxide. As this lethal gas is odorless and colorless, it can poison our body within minutes without giving any indication whatsoever. It is highly capable of killing a person without arousing any feeling of pain and within seconds his/her heart stops which leads to death. People, who repair or work closely with generators, mini pumps etc. are constantly exposed to good amount of carbon monoxide. Hence, people with heart and respiration issues must avoid working in such areas. Children and aged people must take extra care or precaution while visiting any carbon monoxide affected area. A modest amount of carbon monoxide can kill a new born baby and an old man. According to some sources, more than 600 people die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning in every country.

What to do in case of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Immediately take a carbon monoxide poisoning victim outside, in fresh air and quickly arrange for an oxygen mask. Entering a room filled with carbon monoxide is risky for anyone. It is imperative to have a carbon monoxide detector in the house. This detector acts as an alarm and informs the presence of carbon monoxide within seconds of coming in contact with the poisonous gas. If you are conscious about the presence of the gas then cover your mouth and nose while entering the suspected area. Usually, paramedics wear oxygen mask before entering any affected area.

Carbon monoxide is a gas which is either produced by humans or by some natural phenomena. People must realize the part they play in producing such lethal gas in the environment and must avoid using CO producing machines.

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