Carbon monoxide is a clear gas produced as a result of burning carbon-based fuel. It is odorless and tasteless but can cause serious, lasting health complications and impairments in those exposed to high levels of the gas. It is common in automobile exhaust, charcoal grill smoke, and other types of fumes.
A molecule of carbon monoxide has one carbon atom and one oxygen atom. Known by its chemical formula CO, carbon monoxide is the leading cause of non-drug poisoning in the United States. Any age group can be affected, but most deaths from carbon monoxide exposure occur in those over age 65.
Carbon monoxide can form anytime an appliance, device, or engine burns a carbon-based fuel source. Commonly, this may include:
The types of fuel required for creating carbon monoxide include almost any type of combustible material used regularly in homes or industrial applications today. This includes:
Carbon monoxide in low concentrations does not generally cause any health concerns. Due to volcanoes, industry, and vehicle emissions, it is present in our atmosphere all the time. However, when this gas becomes more concentrated, like in a closed garage with your vehicle running, breathing it for just a few minutes can lead to brain injury, heart complications, and loss of consciousness.
Carbon monoxide exposure may be more common than you realize. While there are generally fewer than 500 deaths nationwide each year, statistics published by the Cleveland Clinic, identify about 20,000 cases of possible poisoning serious enough to warrant emergency medical care.
Most of these cases involve low levels of exposure and do not require inpatient care. However, hospitals admit about 4,000 patients for the treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning each year. There are some indications the number of cases is rising.
The dangers of carbon monoxide are clear, but many facilities, including hotels, restaurants, stores, and other public locations–still do not have adequate carbon monoxide detectors. At the same time, companies manufacture products that could cause exposure to the gas without adequate safety features or warnings.
In particular, car companies are coming under fire for their keyless ignition systems that allow drivers to exit a car in the garage, take their key, and go in the house while the vehicle remains idling and spewing toxic fumes into the home. Counterintuitively and defectively designed keyless ignition systems have poisoned and killed entire families.
It is imperative that you learn the warning signs of carbon monoxide exposure. Know how to take action before CO poisoning causes serious mental confusion, and you lose the ability to do so. The symptoms of exposure include:
If you suffered serious effects as a result of carbon monoxide exposure, or if you lost a loved one to carbon monoxide poisoning, you may have a viable case against a negligent property owner, product designer, or manufacturer. A member of the Newsome Melton team will discuss your case with you and help you understand your legal options. Call (888) 808-5977 today to get started.
You can talk to a carbon monoxide poisoning lawyer about your case today. The attorneys from Newsome Melton are offering complimentary consultations for victims of defective products, keyless ignition vehicles, and negligent property owners.
Call (888) 808-5977 now to learn more.