Everyone is at risk. Carbon Monoxide deprives the body’s ability to distribute oxygen to the organs, regardless of an individual’s health status. However there are categories who are significantly more at risk to CO exposure.
Those most at risk from LOW LEVELS of carbon monoxide are:
- Unborn babies / Fetus stage
- Infants & Children
- Any age group with heart and / or lung disease or conditions
Studies agree that even low levels of exposure to Carbon Monoxide over time can cause significant developmental issues with cognitive and motor skills in developing babies and children. The results can be long-lasting, and the effects can often be permanent through adulthood.
In the elderly and anyone suffering from Cardiac or Respiratory issues, the effects of Carbon Monoxide depriving vital organs of oxygen can result in serious complications to an existing ailment, and if unchecked can be fatal.
Why is carbon monoxide so dangerous?
CO robs you of what you need most: oxygen, which is carried to your cells and tissue by the hemoglobin in your blood. As you inhale CO, it quickly bonds with hemoglobin and displaces oxygen molecules. This produces a toxic compound in your blood called carboxyhemoglobin (COHb). Carboxyhemoglobin produces flu-like symptoms such as headaches, fatigue, nausea, dizzy spells, confusion, and irritability. Since symptoms are similar to the flu, and CO incidents are more commonly occurring during Flu season (Heating Season), carbon monoxide poisoning is overwhelmingly misdiagnosed. As the time and levels of exposure to COHb rise, victims can suffer more extreme symptoms such as vomiting, eventual loss of consciousness, and eventually even brain damage or death.