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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) fumes can build up in places that do not have a good flow of fresh air, such as a garage or a house with closed windows and doors. Breathing high levels of CO can cause severe illness or death in a matter of minutes.

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. Breathing high levels of CO can cause loss of consciousness and death. Unless suspected, CO poisoning can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms mimic other illnesses. People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before ever experiencing symptoms.

Although CO poisoning can almost always be prevented, every year, more than 500 people in the United States die as a result of accidental, non-fire exposure to this toxic gas. And, every year, thousands more people across the United States require medical care for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Tracking carbon monoxide poisoning will provide a better understanding of the health consequences of carbon monoxide poisonings across Iowa and track the impact of public health policy aimed at preventing carbon monoxide poisoning.

The EPHT program wants to measure carbon monoxide poisoning in a standard way over time to better understand the impact of CO across Iowa and to track the impact of public health policy aimed at preventing carbon monoxide poisoning.

The EPHT program uses several sources to obtain data about carbon monoxide poisoning. These sources include hospital and emergency department databases, death certificate data, and poison control center call records.

However, the cancer data do have significant limitations. For example:

  • Annual number of carbon monoxide poisoning hospitalizations and emergency department visits, by age, gender, race/ethnicity, and geography
  • Monthly average, maximum, and minimum daily number of carbon monoxide poisoning hospital admissions and emergency department visits
  • Daily number of carbon monoxide poisoning hospital admissions and emergency department visits
  • Annual unadjusted (crude) rate for carbon monoxide poisoning hospitalizations and emergency department visits, for all ages, by gender, race/ethnicity, and geography
  • Annual age-specific rates of carbon monoxide poisoning hospitalizations and emergency department visits by gender, race/ethnicity, and geography
  • Annual age-adjusted rate for carbon monoxide poisoning hospitalizations and emergency department visits for all ages, by gender, race/ethnicity, and geography)

Data and information for this site are still being developed and added.  We welcome your comments and feedback.

This effort is supported by funding from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, Cooperative Agreement Number 5U38EH000619-02. The contents of this Website are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.