Ailmemts & Remedies

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide is a gas. It is a product of incomplete combustion of natural or petroleum gas.  It has no odor or color. You can’t see it, smell it, or taste it; but carbon monoxide can kill you. Inhaling the gas reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen, leaving the body’s organs and cells starved of oxygen.

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Common sources of carbon monoxide is automobiles on road and in  in the home include faulty central heating systems, gas appliances and fires. Blocked flues and chimneys mean the gas can’t escape and is inhaled by the unsuspecting individual.CO from these fumes can build up in places that don’t have a good flow of fresh air.  One  can be poisoned by breathing them in.

It is often hard to tell if someone has CO poisoning, because the symptoms may be like those of other illnesses. People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms. A CO detector can warn you if you have high levels of CO in your home.

The symptoms of mild carbon monoxide poisoning may be non-specific and similar to those of viral cold and flu infections or food poisoning: headache, nausea, abdominal pain, dizziness, sore throat and dry cough.

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are:
•Flu-like symptoms, fatigue
•Shortness of breath on exertion
•Impaired judgment
•Chest pain
•Abdominal pain
•Visual changes
•Memory and walking problems

In children, the symptoms are similar to those of a stomach upset, with nausea and vomiting.

More severe poisoning can result in a fast and irregular heart rate, hyperventilation, confusion, drowsiness and difficulty breathing. Seizures and loss of consciousness may also occur.

Some symptoms can occur a few days or even months after exposure to carbon monoxide. These may include confusion, loss of memory and problems with coordination.

Carbon monoxide is formed when organic compounds burn. The most common sources are motor vehicle exhaust, smoke from fires, engine fumes, and nonelectric heaters. Carbon monoxide poisoning is often associated with malfunctioning or obstructed exhaust systems and with suicide attempts.

Sources of carbon monoxide:

•Gas water heaters
•Kerosene space heaters
•Charcoal grills
•Propane heaters and stoves
•Gasoline and diesel powered generators
•Cigarette smoke
•Propane-fueled forklifts
•Gasoline powered concrete saws
•Indoor tractor pulls
•Any boat with an engine
•Spray paint, solvents, degreasers, and paint removers

Risk Factors:
Risks for exposure to carbon monoxide include:
•Children riding in the back of enclosed pickup trucks (particularly high risk)
•Industrial workers at pulp mills, steel foundries, and plants producing formaldehyde or coke (a hard grey fuel)
•Personnel at fire scenes
•Using heating sources or electric generators during power outages
•Those working indoors with combustion engines or combustible gases
•Swimming near or under the stern or swim-step of a boat with the boat engine running
•Back drafting when a boat is operated at a high bow angle
•Mooring next to a boat that is running a generator or engine
•Improper boat ventilation

Because signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are not specific, a blood test to look for it is the best way to make the diagnosis.

•The treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning is high-dose oxygen, usually using a facemask attached to an oxygen reserve bag.
•Carbon monoxide levels in the blood may be periodically checked until they are low enough to safely send you home.
•In severe poisoning, if available, a hyperbaric pressure chamber may be used to give even higher doses of oxygen.
•It is important to find the source of the carbon monoxide. Your local fire department or public service company will help find the source of carbon monoxide and make sure the building is safe.

Self-Care at Home:
•Move all family members and pets to fresh air away from the source of carbon monoxide (CO).
•No home therapy is available for carbon monoxide poisoning.
•You must seek medical care in a hospital emergency department.

The prognosis for a person with carbon monoxide poisoning is difficult to predict.
•Death can result from severe cases.
•Even with proper treatment, some people develop long-term brain damage, resulting in complications such as severe memory loss, difficulty thinking, or other neurologic or psychiatric problems.
•Others appear to have no long-term problems.
*People who suffer mild poisoning invariably make a full recovery. Between ten and 50 per cent of those with severe poisoning may suffer long-term problems.

Your best protection is to install a carbon monoxide alarm on each level of your home or boat as your first line of defense. According to the National Fire Protection Association some 93% of homes have smoke alarms, yet the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that only 15% have carbon monoxide alarms. A carbon monoxide monitor with an audible alarm works much like a home smoke alarm and beeps loudly when the sensors detect carbon monoxide.

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•If the alarm sounds, evacuate the building. People who have symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning should seek emergency medical care. Call the fire department or public service company to investigate.

•Inspect your home for hazards.

*Your home heating system, chimney, and flue must be inspected and cleaned by a qualified technician every year. Keep chimneys clear of bird and squirrel nests, leaves, and residue to ensure proper ventilation.

*Be sure your furnace and other appliances, such as gas ovens, ranges, and cook tops, are inspected for adequate ventilation.

*Do not burn charcoal inside your house (even in the fireplace). Have gas fireplaces inspected each fall to ensure the pilot light burns safely.

*Do not operate gasoline-powered engines in confined areas such as garages or basements. Do not leave your car, mower, or other vehicle running in an attached garage, even with the door open.

*Do not block or seal shut exhaust flues or ducts for appliances such as water heaters, ranges, and clothes dryers.

*Become familiar with the hazards of carbon monoxide poisoning and boating (please see Web Links section).

For More Information:

You may click & see:-
*Environmental Protection Agency, Protect Your Family and Yourself from Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

*Centers for Disease Control – Prevent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning on Your Boat

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.


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Getting the Lead Out

There is no question that lead poses a serious health risk to children. Exposure to lead can lower a child’s intelligence and lead to learning disabilities, hyperactivity, and reduced attention span.

Even though doctors and scientists cannot dispute the harmful effects of lead, they cannot seem to agree on just how much lead is dangerous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has established 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of a child’s blood as the threshold at which problems begin. About 1.6 % of American children ages one to five have blood lead levels (BLL) above this limit, according to the CDC. However, even levels below the cut-off can cause neu­rological problems, the CDC said in a recent report. Scientific research indicates that there really is no  safe threshold for children’s blood lead levels.

Lead paint is one of the leading sources of lead expo­sure in children, along with contaminated soil, dust, and drinking water. Most homes built before 1960 contain lead paint   that’s about four million homes in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Home remodeling makes up a big part of children’s lead exposure, experts say.

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Regardless of which blood lead level is most dangerous, it’s a good idea to avoid exposing your kids to lead as much as possible. The following checklist, from the book 365 Ways to Keep Kids Safe (Balloon Press), can help you spot potential lead dangers and keep your kids away from this toxic substance.

*Test your children for lead. This is especially important if you live in an older home. A routine lead level test is simple to take an usually costs around $25. Have your children screened for lead once a year until they reach age three, then once every five years.

*Test your home for lead. A home lead test is the only way to determine if you have lead in your home, and if so, how much there is. Don’t try to test yourself, though. Although many companies advertise do-it-yourself tests, these tests are unreliable. You’re better off calling an EPA-certified examiner. To find an examiner, call the National Lead Infor­mation Center (NLIC) at 1-800-424-LEAD.

*Check for lead outside. Contaminated soil is a sig­nificant source of lead, especially when that soil is located close to high-traffic roads or old buildings. Your kids can easily track in lead-tainted dirt when they go outside to play. If you  are concerned about lead near your home, the EPA-certified examiner you call to check the inside of your home can also test the soil outside of it.

*Know where your water travels. Many homes contain lead pipes, which can leech lead into your drinking water. To clean up your water, the EPA advises that you use a NSF International water filter. To learn more about these filters, visit the NSF website at You can also contact your local water authority to find out whether or not they are doing anything to reduce lead in the water supply, and to have your water tested for lead.

*Change your wallpaper. If your home contains wallpaper that was made before 1978, it may contain lead. Consider removing it and painting or re-wallpapering your walls.

*Check your blinds. Several types of mini-blinds, especially those made in the Far East, can contain high levels of lead. Ask your lead examiner to check your blinds. If they do contain lead, have them replaced.

*Be aware of playground lead dangers. Metal equipment on public playgrounds may be covered with lead paint, and if the equipment is not well maintained that paint can chip onto the ground and come into direct contact with children. Call your local department of recreation and ask if the playground contains any lead paint.