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Indicator Report - Carbon Monoxide: Poison Control Exposures

Why Is This Important?

Carbon monoxide (CO) gas is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause sudden illness or death if inhaled. This cause of 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 causing people and animals in these spaces to be poisoned by breathing it.

CO poisoning is especially a concern after emergency situations such as power outages or natural disasters because of certain equipment people use that gives 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 carbon monoxide detector in your home. These can be purchased at most grocery and home improvement stores for relatively low cost.

Carbon Monoxide Exposure Reported to Poison Control Center by Year and Sex, Utah, 1998-2009

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Data Sources

Utah Poison Control Center.

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Definition

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, and poisonous gas that can cause sudden illness and death if inhaled.

How We Calculated the Rates

Numerator: Human exposure case count.
Denominator: Utah resident mid-year population.

Page Content Updated On 12/05/2012, Published on 03/13/2013
The information provided above is from the Utah Department of Health's Center for Health Data IBIS-PH web site (http://ibis.health.utah.gov). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Wed, 23 April 2014 23:50:21 from Utah Department of Health, Center for Health Data, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site: http://ibis.health.utah.gov".

Content updated: Tue, 19 Nov 2013 23:09:24 MST