Carbon Monoxide Gas(CO): Beware of The Toxic Exhaust From your Generator

Yes! Your smart generator is toxic too!

As per Hall Stratton, the Ex. U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman ‘the amount of Carbon monoxide Gas(CO) produced by a generator is  equivalent to hundreds of idling cars.’

According to another study by the UPSC, a generator can emit 100-200 times as much as a car because of the way it burns oil and gas.

The University of California Irvine, suggests that a fully loaded generator (maybe way more than 100% full), producing electricity may emit four times the amount of CO(known as Carbon monoxide) as the average car. The exam above has been given by Hall Stratton, former Chairman of Subchapter A, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The average car uses 0.0011 lb of fuel per hour, whereas, the average generator uses 1.4 lb of fuel per hour. So, if you are running your generator for five hours a day; then it will consume 150-200% more fuel than a car running at the same speed (at idle).

Several cases of severe fatalities include deaths have been reporting for decades now. According to npr.org, ‘The improper use of portable generators, which can provide life-saving power but be fatal when run inside homes or garages, is a reliable source of fatalities after major weather events and took some 900 lives between 2005 and 2017.’

During this unwarranted time, States put advisories which include fitting a battery-operated CO Detector in every household. Do you know, as per a detailed 36-page, Engine Driven Tool’s(EDT) CO Poisoning & Fatalities report in 2017 of www.cpsc.gov, while analyzing the death cases due to CO over-toxicity turned death cases from 2005-2016, they found a grueling fact that, only 10% of such households have a Carbon Monoxide Alarm fitted with?

How sad?  Isn’t it?

So, you should have the right generators with ventilation exhaust and a Carbon Monoxide Alarm or Carbon Monoxide Detector before you buy it or start using it in your home.

Be aware of and the potential threat of CO poisoning causes. Your smart digital companion can be an additional threat while you are confronting indoors in tycoon-struck weather if you are not understanding the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning potential by the generators.

Sometimes, some generators do the harm and they may be the culprits in acute carbon monoxide  poisoning. In such cases, you can complain to your authority and at the same time put that generator details in www.saferproducts.gov also.

Anyway, come, let us have a detailed look here on  Carbon Monoxide Poisoning causes, effects and some remedies here down below. Please read till the end to get a full spectrum view.

Mere reviewing a product can be a job done. But, caring for you and your health is another thing.

We here in bestgeneratorguide.com love to do that also by putting the concerned facts to sensitize you.

What is Carbon monoxide (CO), the Culprit Killer?

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that hangs in the air. CO is a tasteless, odorless gas that is colorless in its natural state. It is produced by the burning of fossil fuels such as oil and gas (as in generators) and has many different sources. CO can be found at homes, schools, offices, industrial plants, etc., where gasoline engines are used.

Carbon monoxide (CO)  can be deadly. It is very difficult to detect in the air and usually comes from your generator also as all EDT(Engine Driven Tools) with you. The generator will produce this exhaust when it starts or at a high load. This toxic exhaust is deadly to you and other family members including infants. It is called CO poisoning. CO poisoning causes you severities. Inhaling the carbon monoxide from the air in your generator room (or even from your car’s exhaust) becomes toxic to you.

According to MedicineNet.com, ‘we absorb it when it is in the air. It is a colorless and odorless gas that is heavier than air. CO can come from your car and generator exhaust fumes’.

Don’t fear hearing this!!!

A carbon monoxide alarm is the best way you can protect yourself from this CO gas during a power outage due to storms or related problems such as power plant failure.

You will learn about:

What is carbon monoxide?
How does it affect us?
Signs of CO-poisoning
The dangers of generators in specific situations
Home Remedies
About Carbon Monoxide Detectors or Alarms

What does carbon monoxide do to the body?

Carbon monoxide can cause what is called ‘CO poisoning’. Carbon monoxide does this by poisoning oxygen molecules and replacing them with would-be harmful CO molecules. This pattern of behavior affects the blood cells in the body, which makes it harder for those cells to carry oxygen around the body. In turn, CO poisoning causes you to become tired due to lack of strength from not being able to carry enough oxygen around your body and also becomes more susceptible to infections that one may come into contact with because their immune system can’t work properly without enough oxygen available for it.

In severe cases, it may cause vomiting and diarrhea which will lead to dehydration and organ failure. According to MedicineNet.com, ‘short-term exposure of high levels of toxic fumes may cause death. If you are exposed to carbon monoxide, call your doctor or walk immediately to fresh air. Carbon monoxide exposure is extremely dangerous for all people. It can kill you quickly.’

According to CDC.com, ‘CO poisoning causes serious health problems and even death. It can cause headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting.’

What are the signs of CO poisoning? 

According to MedicineNet.com, ‘Symptoms usually appear 1-3 hours after inhaling carbon monoxide. These symptoms may be mild or severe’. Usually, the first indication of CO poisoning is headache or dizziness. As the level of carbon monoxide increases, organ damage occurs. According to KidsHealth.org, ‘A headache, nausea, vomiting, and weakness can also occur’. When the level of CO increases higher than the human body can handle it will cause acute carbon monoxide poisoning. In some cases, symptoms will be delayed. A delay is when you have symptoms that occur after several hours from exposure to CO. These symptoms include lightheadedness and confusion. According to MedicineNet.com, ‘Headaches and dizziness may last for more than 24 hours after exposure’. The symptoms get worse if the body is exposed to CO for a long time.

The signs of CO poisoning depends on the amount of exposure and how long it lasted. According to MedicineNet.com, ‘The signs of carbon monoxide poisoning can vary depending on how much you were exposed and how long you were exposed’. On average, someone may have up to five different types of symptoms. The signs could be mild, moderate or severe in each case. Some people may have no symptoms at all.

According to KidsHealth.org, CO poisoning can happen to any person at any time. It can happen indoors or outdoors. Even though it is a common gas, it affects everyone differently. According to CDC’s National Center for Environmental Health, ‘Not everyone gets the same symptoms from carbon monoxide poisoning. Some people are more sensitive to CO poison than others and may not notice the effects of CO poisoning for a while.

The respiratory system is the most vital part of our body because it is responsible for taking in oxygen and all other necessary things for the body to survive. When we inhale this gas, it blocks oxygen coming into the bloodstream. This makes our respiratory system suddenly work harder and more efficiently, thus leading to increased breathing rate, increased heart rate, and blood pressure. It also leads to obvious feelings of weakness such as fatigue or fainting due to the effect on the blood pressure. When this happens, the amount of oxygen that the body needs is also increased, and went in the stage of acute carbon monoxide poisoning, which can cause death due to blood pressure overload. This is why it is important to avoid carbon monoxide.

In such a scenario, you should leave the area that is causing your symptoms as soon as possible.

How does it affect your heart rate and blood pressure? 

CO poisoning causes make things fatal. According to KidsHealth.org, ‘Your blood pressure and pulse are your body’s way of keeping you alive. This gas makes the flow of blood to your organs slower. Not allowing proper oxygen into the arteries and veins reduces the regenerative capacity of these organs. This can lead to serious health problems and death. The heart rate increases due to the work overload put on it by an increased heart pressure.

How does CO Gas poisoning reduce blood flow?

When CO is inhaled, it binds to the hemoglobin protein in red blood cells in our bodies. When this happens, it prevents the carrying of oxygen in the blood. The normal carboxyhemoglobin level is normally about 20%-30%. When CO reaches high levels in the body, it produces a CO level of 60 to 80% which causes the destruction of red blood cells. The destruction is caused by hemolytic cell destruction and disturbance of calcium transport.

Carbon Monoxide Levels

Measuring carbon monoxide levels in a person’s bloodstream is very important because they may have an increased risk for certain diseases. Carbon monoxide can be measured in a person’s blood with a device called a carbon monoxide monitor. A CO monitor is placed in the mouth and the person breathes through it for 10 or 15 minutes. The CO level in the blood is measured at that time.
 
Normal CO levels are usually between 1-4%. When these levels increase, it may indicate symptoms of CO poisoning. According to KidsHealth.org, ‘The carbon monoxide level in your bloodstream is usually measured on a monitor that uses an enzyme inside the mouth to sample the CO level for at least 10 or 15 minutes.’

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning and Children

Your beloved children are more vulnerable to this CO gas poisoning from EDT’s like power generators.  Their blood becomes unable to carry oxygen to the body when it is exposed to CO. This causes asphyxiation. According to KidsHealth.org, ‘Carbon monoxide poisoning is a common cause of accidental death in children. Long exposure to CO can lead to  acute carbon monoxide poisoning and thus by loss of consciousness, and even death.’ These children and babies do not have any chance of open windows from where the gas can escape from. This is why they need to be moved to a safe place immediately, as soon as it is noticed that they are having issues with breathing.

The amount of exposure consists of how much CO was inhaled and how long it lasted. According to KidsHealth, ‘A child exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide will generally experience symptoms within minutes after the exposure, while low levels may not become apparent for hours’.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Dogs and Cats

Your family pet, cat, or dog is also vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning. Keep them safe from dangerous fumes with a CO detector.
All species of animals have a unique way of breathing. Each body has an independent respiratory system and the air that enters the body is what comes from various bodily functions as well as other organs in the body.
A natural process of breathing occurs every time we inhale, which is why it is recommended to keep a pet safe from harm by having a CO detector installed in your living space. The best option for this is a smoke alarm. These detectors can detect different levels of carbon monoxide and notify you when its levels are high.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Causes are sometimes by a faulty Generator

Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur when generators ingest too much fuel, either through a problem with the fuel tank, or because the fuel meter has stopped working. This type of carbon monoxide poisoning is sometimes called “fuel-leak” or “fuel in-take” poisoning because it occurs when too much fuel enters the engine. Even more commonly, it occurs when an exhaust hose leaks or from a malfunction within the generator. When the exhaust hose leaks or when the generator malfunctions, carbon monoxide enters the generator and, because there is no fresh air supply, this triggers an insufficient oxygen level in the engine. When this occurs, carbons from the fuel mixture form carbon monoxide inside of the engine and exceed safe levels.

The symptoms of a fuel leak are:

The symptoms of a generator malfunction are similar to those of an internal mechanical failure except that they affect more than one part of the generator.

Here are some tips on how to treat CO poisoning using home remedies.

Get out of the house by moving in a direction with fresh air and open doors
Open up all windows and doors for cross ventilation
Take deep breaths, which will help counteract the symptoms of CO poisoning
Remove yourself from an enclosed space that has fumes or heavy smoke such as from a fireplace, wood stove, or marijuana that’s being smoked indoors
Dab apple cider vinegar on your nostrils with cotton balls to help remove any toxins in the nasal passages.

You should go to an emergency room or call 911 if you have severe symptoms of CO poisoning.

In hospitals, it is possible to reverse the damage through a process called hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), but this is expensive and not commonly available. The best way to avoid CO poisoning is therefore to avoid exposure in the first place.

How can you prevent the danger of carbon monoxide in your home?

The best way you can prevent this poisoning is with a quality carbon monoxide detector. Carbon Monoxide alarms are designed to detect CO in your home.

As a result of the publicity, combined with the fact that it is a deadly gas, many generators have carbon monoxide detectors installed.

There is such a good generator with carbon monoxide detector fitted with. It is the world-renowned Honda EU2200ITAG 2200-Watt 120-Volt Super Quiet Portable Inverter Generator with CO-Minder(49-States). They call it as CO-minder.CO-minder will monitor the CO levels in your house uninterruptedly and protect you from any trace of CO in your indoor air.

You can check HERE for Honda EU2200ITAG 2200-Watt.

The best CO detectors are wireless and will notify you when the CO level gets too high, or if it goes missing.

First Alert SCO5CN Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector, Battery Operated is such an ALARM TO SAVE YOU. It had been there since the late fifties to protect American households. It is the most trusted and top-rated Carbon Monoxide Detector.

You can check First Alert Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector Price here.

You can also find other best brands in carbon monoxide gas detectors there.

Please choose one brand and fit in every level and every bedroom as they advise, to prevent CO Poisoning fatalities. And, if possible, keep your generators at least 25 feet away from your home windows and doors.

Recent Efforts to Curb CO Poisoning

Catalytic Converters for reducing the pollutants including CO to the air is taking momentum in generator industry also. If it is fitted to your Genset IC engine, then the CO emission will be curtailed and you will be safe and our environment will be much habitable. Hope, all the generator systems one day come equipped with a catalytic converter. Now, it seems few are concerned about it.

CPSC, US has developed a technology to shut down your generator, when CO levels are up in harmful levels. But it is not yet that much commercialized.

Last but not least,

PLEASE DON’T USE IT INDOORS!

As per CPSC’s Safety Tips on CO Poisoning, ‘Never use portable generators inside homes or garages, even if doors and windows are open. Use generators outside only, far away from the home.’ 

Conclusion

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has called it “the most common source of fatal air poisoning worldwide.” In severe cases where patients survive, the damage to the brain can be permanent even if the patient recovers. Anyway, Carbon monoxide poisoning is a very negative and life-threatening issue, that can be tackled easily with the use of a carbon monoxide detector. It is very important to make you aware of it and know the symptoms. Also, be sure to educate other family members about the danger signs of this gas poisoning. In this article, we discussed some facts about CO Poisoning and mentioned detectors also. We also have given you some tips on how to prevent them from harming you or your beloved ones.

Do you know the fact that, portable generators are using indoors are creating the most harm when comparing with standby generators?

I hope, you got some knowledge about the SUBJECT!

Be Safe, my dear.


(This information was taken from various authentic sources, including,  www.cpsc.gov, www.mayoclinic.org, www.fiu.edu, www.accuweather.com, www.ehow.com, www.cohealthcentral.com, www. homeguides.sfgate.com)

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