• Effects of Carbon Monoxide on the Body

    Effects of Carbon Monoxide on the Body


    Here at Lindemann Chimney Service in Northern Chicago and Southern Wisconsin we like to provide you with information like this series of important informational blogs on carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is almost always preventable. By using carbon monoxide alarms and having your heating systems, chimneys, vehicles, etc., inspected and using common sense you can help protect your family.

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    This toxic gas is odorless, tasteless, colorless and initially non-irritating it is very difficult for humans to detect. As more is inhaled the ability to function and reason becomes impaired so that even if you might normally realize what is happening, you may completely miss the warning signs altogether just as I did.

    As mammals humans need to breathe oxygen in order to survive. If our bodies are deprived of oxygen our tissues and organs can be damaged and start to shut down. Carbon monoxide combines with hemoglobin in the blood. This prevents oxygen from bonding to the hemoglobin reducing the oxygen that gets through to vital organs and tissues.

    Symptoms of mild acute poisoning can include being light-headed, confusion, headaches, vertigo and flu-like effects; a larger exposure can lead to increased toxicity of the central nervous system and heart and even lead to death. Other complications can occur as a result of CO poisoning. Even low level exposure over the long term can lead to problems and complications. Those at higher risk are the elderly, pregnant women and their fetus, children and pets. Chronic long-time exposure to low levels can lead to depression, confusion, fatigue and memory loss.

    In the next blog we will take a look at the symptoms based on exposure level. I can’t mention enough how important it is to have more than one CO alarm. That way if there’s a problem with one you will have a back-up.

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