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Association of Asian Pacific Community Health Organizations

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 Carbon monoxide can be deadly

 You can't see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high
 levels it can kill a person in minutes. Carbon
 monoxide (CO)  is produced whenever any fuel such
 as gas, kerosene, wood, or charcoal is burned. If
 appliances that burn fuel are maintained and used
 properly, the amount of CO produced is usually not
 harzardous. However, if appliances are not working
. properly or are used incorrectly, dangerous levels of
 CO can result. Hundreds of people die accidentally
 every year from CO poisoning caused by malfunc-
 tion or improperly used fuel-burning appliances.
 Even more die from CO produced by idling cars. Be
 safe. Practice the DO's and DON'Ts of carbon

 CO Poisoning Symptoms

 Know the symptoms of CO poisoning. At moderate
 levels, you or your family can get severe head-
 aches, become  dizzy, mentally confused, nauseated
 or faint. You can even die if these levels persist for a
 long time. Low levels can cause shortness of breath,
 mild nausea, and mild headaches, and may have
 longer term effects on your health. Since many of
 these symptom  are similar to those of the flu, food
 poisoning, or other illnesses, you may not think that
 CO poisoning could be the cause.

 Play It Safe

 If you experience symptoms  that you think could be
 from  CO poisoning:

 • DO
   Open doors and windows, turn off combustion
   appliances and leave the house.
   and tell the physician you suspect
   CO poisoning. If CO poisoning has
   occured, it can often be diagnosed
   by a blood test done soon after
•  Be prepared to answer the following questions for
   the doctor:
    • Do your symptoms occur only in the house?
    • Do they disappear or decrease when you
      leave home and reappear when you return?
    • Is anyone else in your household complaining
      of similar symptoms? Did eveyone's
      symptoms appear about the same time?
    • Are you using any fuel-burning appliances in
      the home?
    . Has anyone inspected your appliances lately?
      Are you certain they are working properly?

Prevention is the Key to Avoiding

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

•  DO
•  Have your fuel-burning appliances-including oil
   and gas furnaces, gas water heaters, gas ranges
   and ovens, gas dryers, gas or kerosene space
   heaters, fireplaces and wood stoves - inspected
   by a trained professional at
   the beginning of every
   heating season. Make
   certain that the flues and
   chimneys are connected, in
   good condition, and not

•  Read and follow all of the
   instructions that accompany
   any fuel-burning device.

•  Choose appliances that vent
   their fumes to the outside
   whenever possible, have them properly installed,
   and maintain them according to manufacturers'

 •  If you cannot avoid using an unvented gas or
                     kerosene space heater,
                     carefully follow the cautions
                     that come with .the device.
                     Use the proper fuel and
                     keep doors to the rest of the
                     house open. Crack a
                     window to ensure enough
                     air for ventilation and proper

                     • Call EPA's IAQ INFO
                       Clearinghouse (1-800-
                       438-4318) or the
                       Consumer Product

  Safety Commission (1-800-638-2772) for more
  information on how to reduce your risks from CO
  and other combustion gases and particles.
•  Don't idle car in a garage-
   even if the garage door to the
   outside is open. Fumes can
   build up very quickly in the
   garage and living area of your

•  Don't use a gas oven to heat
   your home, even for a short

•  Don't use a charcoal grill
   indoors-even in a fireplace.
   Don't sleep in any room with a unvented gas or
   kerosene space neater.
                 Don't use any gasoline-powered
                 engines in enclosed spaces.
                 Don't ignore symptoms,
                 particularly if more than one
                 person is feeling them. You
                 could lose conciousness and die
                 if you do nothing.
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