Health Indicator Report of Carbon Monoxide: Poison Control Exposures
Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can happen quickly and without warning. This cause of poisoning or death is almost entirely preventable if proper measures are taken such as always having a working carbon monoxide detector in your home or work. CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those produced by cars and trucks, small gasoline engines, stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood, gas ranges, and heating systems. Whenever there is a flame or combustion, some deadly carbon monoxide gas can be produced. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces making it a very poisonous area to breathe for people and animals. CO poisoning is especially a concern after emergency situations such as power outages or natural disasters because of certain equipment people use that give off CO. Generators, grills, camp stoves, or other gasoline equipment, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices should never be used inside a home, basement, garage, camper, or even outside near an open window. CO poisoning can also occur outdoors in fresh air and has been reported while boating. In this case, CO poisoning is attributed mostly to generator exhaust that builds up inside and outside a boat in areas near exhaust vents. Dangerous concentrations of CO can accumulate within seconds; therefore, schedule regular engine and exhaust system maintenance with your boat and install and test daily a battery operated CO detector. CO poisoning is almost entirely preventable. To protect yourself from CO poisoning, use equipment that emits CO responsibly and use a properly working CO detector in your home. These can be purchased at most grocery and home improvement stores for relatively low cost. Additionally, it is crucial to check and maintain your CO detector including, but not limited to battery and power source.
These data may be used to estimate the population's exposure to carbon monoxide (CO). They may also be used to estimate CO exposures among exposed persons who may not be treated in a health care facility. Not all potentially hazardous CO exposures will be captured by poison control center calls. If there are no acute symptoms from a moderately elevated exposure in the home, it will unlikely be recognized.
Unintentional Carbon Monoxide Exposures: Number of Individuals Reported to Poison Control Center by Year and Treatment in a Healthcare Facility, Utah, 2013-2014
Data SourceUtah Poison Control Center
Data Interpretation IssuesThis indicator includes all calls to the Utah Poison Control Center where actual or suspected human contact with carbon monoxide (CO) was recorded. Exposed animals were excluded and out of state residents were excluded. This data could be missing Utah residents that were exposed to CO, but called another state's poison control center.
DefinitionCarbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, and poisonous gas that can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled.
NumeratorFor Poison Control Center: Numbers of humans exposed to carbon monoxide. For BRFSS: Number of households reporting at least one carbon monoxide detector is in their house/current residence.
DenominatorFor Poison Control Center views, the denominator is Utah resident mid-year population estimates. For the BRFSS view, the denominator is a weighted (by household) value that allows the estimate to be based on the total number of households in the state.
What Is Being Done?There are organizations that provide free information about carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and prevention such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Also, health promotion and outreach activities often take place to educate the public about CO poisoning and prevention. However, it is primarily up to the individual to practice behaviors to prevent CO poisoning such as installing working CO detectors and using equipment properly that emits CO gas.
Available ServicesUtah Poison Control Center The Utah Poison Control Center (UPCC) is a 24-hour resource for poison information, clinical toxicology consultation, and poison prevention education. This free and confidential service is available 365 days a year. For poison emergencies, questions, and prevention information call 1-800-222-1222.
Page Content Updated On 02/02/2015, Published on 02/04/2015