A Possible Antidote for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

| 1/26/2017 9:21:13 AM

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The air we breathe every day is full of toxins. According to the EPA, particle pollution and ground-level ozone pollution still affect numerous areas across the U.S.

How they affect each of us individually depends on our bodies, how much of the toxin we are exposed to and how long we are exposed to them. Generally, our bodies tell us when we are exposed to such a poison — we cough or our skin becomes itchy. Generally, mild exposure will cause no reaction. Higher exposure, however, can cause an immediate reaction so that we know to avoid it in the future.

Unfortunately, carbon monoxide gives no such warning. Of the toxins that are dangerous, carbon monoxide may be the most frightening because of this. You can’t smell it, see it or taste it — making it impossible to know if you or your family have been exposed to this noxious gas until it is too late.

What Is Carbon Monoxide?

Also known by its scientific name, CO, carbon monoxide is the result of incomplete burning of natural gas and other material that contains carbon. Examples of carbon-containing materials include: kerosene, gasoline, oil, wood, propane or coal. The most common source of CO in the workplace comes from internal combustion engines, though any place that uses these materials — like homes or businesses — can be a danger.

Blast furnaces, forages and coke ovens can also be causes of CO exposure. If you work in a place where these are in operation, you should understand the risks to your health. OSHA recommends:

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