By Joana Bernardo on Wed 28 March 2018
The experts at Analox – leading company in custom gas detection solutions – have created a list of the top ten most essential facts about CO that you must know.
It is important to understand that CO is an odour & colourless gas that is found naturally in the atmosphere and that exists at around 0.2 parts per million (ppm), which is considered the safe level for humans. However, with the ever more intense industrial activity in the world, CO is reaching unsafe levels.
Show me the Facts!
- At a concentration of 12,800 ppm, CO will cause someone to collapse, lose consciousness, and death is likely to occur in just one to three minutes
- In 2015, 53 people died in the UK from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning
- Carbon monoxide is the most common type of indoor air poisoning, in countries where they still rely on fires to heat homes and cook food
- The most common source of human-produced CO is formed during combustion, when there is not enough oxygen available to produce carbon dioxide
- CO gets into the bloodstream and prevents it from carrying oxygen to the cells and vital organs of the body
- CO is known as the ‘silent killer’ because it has no taste, no smell and you can’t see it
- Open fires, boilers and cookers all produce carbon monoxide
- Carbon monoxide leaves the body quickly, so taking immediate action such as turning off an appliance, opening windows and leaving the area in the case of a suspected leak could save your life.
And a Bit of Trivia
- Cats can sense a carbon monoxide leak and are known to refuse to come into the house – this is a good, but not to be relied upon, warning sign
- The phrase, ‘canary in a coal mine’ came about because miners used to take birds into mines to act as a warning signal for dangerous gases like carbon monoxide