The Washington Poison Center (WAPC) wants to remind the public, as temperatures fall, to be aware of possible sources of Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. CO is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, deadly gas that can kill. It is produced anytime fuel, like oil, gas, wood or charcoal, is burned. It can also occur from faulty furnace operation or blocked chimneys and flues.
Never burn charcoal inside homes, tents, campers, vans, trucks, garages, or mobile homes, or even in a fireplace. Do not use an unvented gas or kerosene heater. Never use a gas oven to heat your home, even for a short time. Never use gasoline powered equipment, like generators, indoors.
Symptoms of CO poisoning include headache, nausea and vomiting, weakness, fatigue, and confusion. Symptoms can mimic the flu. If several people in the household become ill at the same time, it may not be "just the flu." Carbon monoxide warning devices provide additional protection, but should not replace the other prevention steps. If you or your family is exposed to CO, get to fresh air right away, open wide all doors and windows, and call the Washington Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222.
For more information on CO, and in multiple languages, go to the WAPC website or the Washington State Department of Health’s website (http://www.doh.wa.gov/Topics/weather.htm). Information is also available, through translation, in over 160 languages by calling WAPC.
The WAPC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization with the mission to prevent harm from poisonings. Staffed by specially-trained pharmacists, nurses and poison specialists and backed by physician toxicologist, callers get the expert help they need when they call 1-800-222-1222, 24 hours a day. Poisonings and drug overdoses are the leading cause of unintentional injury-related deaths in WashingtonState, surpassing motor vehicle crashes.