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.