Carbon Monoxide Poisoning - The Facts
In the past two years, around 100 people have died in the UK after inhaling carbon monoxide (CO) fumes and countless others have been hospitalised by its affects.
Overseas, carbon monoxide poisoning is the most common type of fatal poisoning in many countries.
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas that kills quickly and silently, most often when people are asleep.
Carbon monoxide is produced by:
- Gas appliances
- Wood burning stoves
- Equipment that uses butane or propane gas
- Petrol and diesel engine exhaust fumes
The most common causes of carbon monoxide poisoning are poorly fitted or maintained domestic heating appliances that have blocked or leaking flues.
Early warnings of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, tiredness and nausea. In an enclosed space this can be quickly followed by fainting and loss of conscience. Without adequate ventilation, death is possible.
Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning, which also poses a severe danger to unborn children.