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What Causes Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Exposure to carbon monoxide, or CO, can be extremely dangerous and may result in serious health complications, including brain injury and death. These incidents can happen anywhere where there are appliances powered by combustion, such as water heaters, wall heaters, furnaces, clothes dryer, stoves and ovens. In most cases, carbon monoxide poisoning occurs because an old or improperly serviced appliance is incompletely burning fuel, resulting in the production of poisonous CO (Carbon Monoxide) instead of harmless CO2 (Carbon Dioxide). In order to protect yourself from potential CO exposure, or to determine how your CO poisoning may have occurred, make sure you know what causes carbon monoxide poisoning.

Why is Carbon Monoxide Dangerous?

Our bodies are fueled, in part, by oxygen, so if we inhale too much carbon monoxide, our bodies replace the oxygen in our cells with CO, which prevents our bodies from absorbing oxygen and expelling CO2, and is therefore toxic. When this occurs, the CO we inhale prevents our vital organs from receiving oxygen resulting in tissue damage to our brain, heart and other organs. If the exposure is severe enough, permanent damage to the brain and heart can occur, as well as death.

One of the most dangerous aspects of carbon monoxide is its stealthy nature. CO has no scent, no taste, no sound, and it is not visible. If exposure occurs while the victim is sleeping, he or she is unlikely to notice any of the telltale symptoms of exposure and will, typically, fall prey to the poison before waking. Luckily, there are CO detectors that can identify dangerous carbon monoxide levels in the air and notify inhabitants of any potential danger. If a homeowner or landlord does not provide these necessary detectors to residents or tenants, they may be found liable for the subsequent injuries.

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Chest Pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Disorientation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of Consciousness

In most cases, exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide will result in loss of consciousness. And, if left untreated, the toxic exposure can be lethal.

I Think I Have a Case—What Now?

If you experienced carbon monoxide exposure due to improper maintenance of an appliance by a landlord, the lack of a CO detector in residential rental units, or a defective product, you may have a valid personal injury claim. Our attorneys at Caputo and Van Der Walde – Injury & Accident Attorneys can help you seek justice and compensation after a serious accident, or we can help you pursue justice on behalf of a lost loved one. Whatever your case, our legal team is prepared to help.

Contact Caputo and Van Der Walde – Injury & Accident Attorneys to discuss your situation with our experienced attorneys.