Carbon Monoxide – The Silent Killer

IAQ-carbon monoxideCarbon monoxide (or CO) is an odorless, tasteless, colourless gas often referred to as the silent killer because of its ability to take lives quietly while along it’s victims never knew they were in any danger. CO claims thousands of lives needlessly every year and leaves many others with psychological or neurological damage. All this can be avoided with education, awareness and readily available protection devices such as CO carbon monoxide detectors.

Carbon monoxide is a byproduct that is created through the incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels. When inhaled it suffocates it’s victim by depleting the blood stream of oxygen.

Carbon monoxide can cause immediate health problems, and even death in high concentrations. And some believe that it can cause long-term health problems and reduce life expectancy in low concentrations. Well no one is immune to the effects of CO the elderly and children are commonly affected quicker.

What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide?

The early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often compared to the same symptoms of food poisoning, include headaches, dizziness, weakness, chest pain, blurry vision, hearing loss and sometimes even seizures and vomiting.

Where is carbon monoxide produced?

CO is created by the unspent burning of carbon-based fuels, so it can be found almost everywhere. Some of the most common are vehicles, home heating appliances, water heaters, barbecues but anything that burns a fossil fuel is also creating CO.

Concentration levels and their effects:

CO has a max prolonged exposure of 9 ppm.

The maximum exposure for CO as set by OSHA for a full workday of eight hours is 35 PPM.

At exposure levels to CO of 800 ppm death will occur in 2 to 3 hours.

At concentration levels of 12,800 ppm or over CO exposure will cause death in 1 to 3 minutes.


If you would like to learn more about the effects of Carbon Monoxide you can go here to a Health Canada article about it. You can call Home Pros Group at 780-455-1188 if you suspect CO in your home and we can do an Indoor Air Quality Check Up.