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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Exposure and Risk

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.

You may be exposed to unsafe levels of CO as the result of:

  • using poorly maintained or unvented heating equipment;
  • warming up vehicles in garages or other enclosed spaces;
  • using a gas stove or oven to heat the home;
  • leaving chimneys clogged or blocking heating exhaust vents;
  • running generators or gas-powered tools in enclosed areas or near windows, doors, or vents;
  • using a propane camp stove, heater, or light inside a tent; and
  • engaging in activities near boat engine exhaust outlets.

All people and animals are at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Unborn babies, infants, and people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems are generally more susceptible to its effects.

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.