CO – Toxic Gas That Is Present All Around Us


CO is a harmful gas, it can influence wellbeing, if serious it can prompt unconsciousness and even death. Lethal in seconds.  Get more information about this substance, consider the information provided below.

Overview of CO

What is CO?

CO is the chemical formula of Carbon Monoxide. This is a colorless, odorless gas that is highly readable and combustible.

Some uses for carbon monoxide

Although CO is a toxic gas, it has many applications in the fields of industrial chemistry, food, medicine, metallurgy, … Specifically:

  • In industry, Carbon monoxide is utilized to make cleansers.
  • In food varieties, they are utilized in air bundling frameworks.
  • In medication, carbon monoxide is a synapse that is one of three flammable gases that control the provocative reaction in the body (nitrogen oxide and hydrogen sulfide).
  • In addition, this gas can be combined to form drugs. Such as anti-inflammatory drugs, vasodilators, … and encourage the development of cerebral vessels.
  • In metallurgy, CO is utilized to lessen metal oxides. Furthermore, numerous different applications… .

Source of CO

There are many sources of carbon monoxide. It is generated when incomplete burning of fuels such as gas, coal, firewood, gasoline, oil … especially when the fuel is burned in the condition of lack of air and lack of oxygen.

Carbon monoxide also exists in significant amounts of tobacco smoke. In the home, CO can be generated from fuel sources such as gasoline, oil, gas, or wood that do not burn off, … In equipment that uses them as fuel such as motorcycles, cars, heaters, stove,…

Worldwide, thousands of people die every year from the inhalation of CO. Among them are mainly workers working in extreme conditions. Such as environments where there is a lack of clean air and environments with a high risk of fire and explosion, … Such as mining workers, firefighters, even astronauts, divers.

CO poisoning

CO is a toxic gas

Carbon Monoxide is extremely dangerous. If excessive amounts of CO are inhaled, it can lead to hypoxia damage in the blood. Or damage the nervous system. It can even cause death. Because as little as 0.01% of carbon monoxide in the air can be fatal.

Because a person inhales CO into the lungs, the carbon dioxide into the bloodstream combines with the red blood cell pigment ( hemoglobin ), creating a substance called carboxyhemoglobin (HbCO), which pushes oxygen, oxygen, out of the red blood cells. Because CO has 200 times stronger affinity than the oxygen in red blood pigment, the oxygen is eliminated, leading to the lack of oxygen, causing asphyxiation very quickly.

But CO is an invisible, odorless, and inaccessible substance. Therefore, it is very difficult for humans to feel its presence in the air. We can only feel when there are symptoms of poisoning.

Symptoms of CO poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning usually starts with a feeling of dizziness, headache, … After that, you may feel nauseous, have difficulty breathing, and then slowly sink into a coma. More dangerously, if you get CO poisoning while sleeping or drinking, you will go into a gradual, undetectable coma. Then can stop breathing and lead to death because not detected and treated promptly.

Severe or mild CO poisoning depends on the toxic concentration in the air as well as the time of exposure. In addition, they also depend on the state of the body, the circumstances of the workplace, …

Pregnant women, alcoholics, people with cardiovascular diseases, chronic bronchitis, asthma, anemia, malnutrition, poor resistance, … are the subjects that can be affected. serious. Be wary of traveling to places where this may be hazardous.

The stages of CO poisoning

Mild stage

According to health experts, CO poisoning has similar early signs to a cold but does not include a fever. Some specific symptoms include headache, dizziness, slow movement, weakness, and nausea.

Moderate poisoning

Moderate CO poisoning, victims see: severe headache, dizziness, nausea, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, numbness in many parts of the body, fainting, … This poisoning level is prolonged.

In case the victim is poisoned, the concentration of CO gradually increases, the manifestations also increase:

  • If the amount of HbCO is increased from 10-20%, it will cause headache, vomiting, and difficulty breathing
  • If the HbCO concentration is 30-40% high, there is severe headache, tachycardia, and loss of consciousness. When the amount of CO is over 40%, the breathing will be fast, choking, or stop breathing, then the victim will convulsive, unconscious, permanent brain damage, the heart stops beating and dies.
  • Especially remember: although the amount of HbCO is as low as 0.05% in the blood, if inhaled for more than 30 minutes, it can also cause death.

Severe CO poisoning

Acute poisoning can cause vomiting, shortness of breath, confusion, blurred vision, and loss of consciousness. In a critical case, the victim can die if the emergency is not timely. If you notice any of the above symptoms, it is necessary to immediately take the victim outside to breathe fresh air, and then take the victim to a medical facility for treatment.

Potential risks of carbon monoxide poisoning from cars

As we all know, the internal combustion of cars and motorcycles is the chemical reaction between fuel and air.The fundamental fuel utilized is petroleum and diesel). Petrol and diesel are used as major fuel. However, when air is introduced into the combustion chamber each cycle, if there is not enough oxygen to fully react with the fuel, the fuel may not completely burn and produce CO.

Therefore, the old cars used to use primitive fuel injection and suction technologies, so the amount of ivy is not burned. From there, the waste gas has a high CO content.

In particular, if in enclosed spaces such as a car cabin, the air conditioner will take the wind to bring CO in. Therefore, humans will directly inhale CO. In the absence of timely detection and treatment, the driver can fall into a state of coma, even death.

Prevention and treatment of CO poisoning

Ways to prevent CO poisoning

The best way to control CO poisoning is to take the following precautions:

  • Keep away from closed garages where machines are in operation.
  • Test and properly maintain your water heater, gas stove, heater, or any gas, oil, and coal appliance in your home regularly.
  • Install CO alarms in the home and in the workplace.
  • Only buy gas appliances (gas stoves, fireplaces …) in reputable companies.
  • Check and clean chimneys every year.
  • Never use gas stoves or stoves for heating as they can build up CO in your home.
  • Never burn coal indoors because coal will produce CO.
  • Never use a generator in your home, basement, and garage or less than 6 meters away from windows, doors, or vents.
  • Avoid placing water filters & food items near a gas stove, heater, or any gas appliance in your home.
  • Use an air cleaner indoors or in your car.

In addition, people need to take steps to prevent CO poisoning. Such as: Do not go into shallow wells, wind-tight deep holes, reservoirs, tanks, drums, and tanks, which have been left dry for a long time. If it is required to get down to such places by work, ventilation measures should be taken before descending. For example, you can use an electric fan to fan the air to the bottom of these places for a few dozen minutes. In addition, when going to the test, there should be a guard, support, ready to ventilate or remove the victim from danger.

How to treat CO poisoning

If suspected CO contamination is occurring, first remove all victims from the contaminated room immediately and to a well-ventilated area for breathing. Pay attention and open all doors and windows, turn off the gas stove, lock the gas tank or immediately turn off fuel-burning furnaces.

If there is a mild infection or little poisoning, it only takes a few minutes of breathing fresh air to heal immediately. Perform CPR, inhalation, … In severe cases, a ventilator may be needed to bring oxygen into the body. If the victim’s breathing is weak or has stopped breathing, immediately refer him or her to the nearest medical facility or call an ambulance while still doing CPR.

Another treatment is high-pressure oxygen therapy. This therapy will help increase the amount of dissolved oxygen in the blood. Doctors will use high-pressure oxygen therapy for people with carboxy-hemoglobin levels 40% higher, those who are lethargic or unconscious, and pregnant women with 15% more CO levels.

Above is some basic information about CO and its potential hazards. Hopefully, the above article will help you have the more basic knowledge to prevent or protect yourself and those around you when it is poisoned by CO.

Author Bio

Name- Sunil Trivedi

Bio- Sunil Trivedi is the Managing Director of Aqua Drink. With 15 years of experience in the water purification industry, Sunil and his team have been ensuring that his clients consume 100% potable water to lead a healthy life and keeping water-borne diseases miles away.