0 Cart
Added to Cart
    You have items in your cart
    You have 1 item in your cart
    Check Out Continue Shopping

    Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless gas and it is very poisonous to animals and humans. Carbon monoxide poisoning is the most common cause of death from accidental poisoning in the United States.

    In fact, every year in the U.S., approximately 20,000 people go to the emergency room and almost 500 people a year die due to CO poisoning.

    Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning vary depending on the severity and duration of the exposure; lower to moderate levels of exposure can often be mistaken for flu symptoms, while higher levels of exposure can result in more severe and dangerous symptoms.

    What You Should Know About the Effects of Carbon Monoxide

    The effects of carbon monoxide can range from mild to severe to those that result in permanent injury to even death. Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are listed below:

    Mild to Moderate Symptoms:

    • Fatigue
    • Headache
    • Nausea
    • Dizziness
    • Shortness of breath

    More Severe Symptoms:

    • Disorientation
    • Loss of hearing
    • Blurry vision
    • Rapid heartbeat and/or chest pain

    In the worst of cases, exposure to higher levels of carbon monoxide can lead to cardiac arrest, loss of consciousness or coma, respiratory failure, and death.

    Is it CO or Flu?

    Because the symptoms of CO poisoning are so common, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that at least one CO detector is installed in every home. This is a first-line defense for determining whether these symptoms are due to influenza or illness caused by elevated levels of CO.

    Particularly considering the recent COVID-19 pandemic, people have heightened awareness of the appearance of symptoms such as shortness of breath, headache, and dizziness. Since the flu and CO poisoning share these symptoms, it can be hard to determine whether you are suffering from a viral illness or CO poisoning.

    One quick way to check is to grab a thermometer. Influenza is typically characterized by a fever of more than 100 degrees, while individuals suffering from CO poisoning don’t display elevated temperatures. Also, if your entire household is showing symptoms (without fevers) then you should seek medical attention immediately.

    John Hopkins Medicine

    If you or someone in your family is showing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning (CO poisoning), you should leave the area immediately and get to fresh air. Call 911 or your local emergency medical service (EMS) and only shut off the source of carbon monoxide if you can do it quickly and safely.