Yesterday, I posted some general information about Carbon Monoxide and how it can post dangers to health.

Today, I will expand more on how different concentrations of it can effect people.

Carbon Monoxide is sometimes called the silent killer. It is colourless, odourless and tasteless and every year kills or injures thousands of people around the world.

It enters the body, through the lungs (just like oxygen). Once into the blood it competes with oxygen for haemaglobin.

In high concentrations, it can kill in minutes.

Here are some stats on varying doses (in parts per million – ppm) of carbon monoxide:

  • 35ppm – Maximum allowable concentration for continuous exposure for adults in an eight hour period.
  • 200ppm – Slight headache, tiredness, dizziness – nausea after approx 2 – 3 hours.
  • 400ppm – Strong headache within 1 – 2 hours. Life threatening after 3 hours.
  • 800ppm – Dizziness, convulsions and nausea after 45 minutes. Unconscious within 2 hours. Death within 2 – 3 hours.1

So, the rule here is be careful when using fires or cooking on gas stoves in enclosed places. Enclose a carbon monoxide detector in your house and place of work to warn you of potentially lethal doses.

1 Source = CO-9X User Manual for the Fire Angel (R)7 year life carbon monoxide poisonous gas alram.