Carbon monoxide poisoning is not only a threat in industrial facilities but also the homes or apartments of Texas residents. It might go unnoticed and mistaken for other illnesses if you and your family members experience low levels of exposure over an extended period. It is not surprising that some people call carbon monoxide the silent killer because it is odorless and colorless. High exposure levels can cause severe health consequences that could result in death.
A source of carbon monoxide in your home could be the furnace, and it might be a good idea to arrange an inspection once a year - of both the furnace and the chimney. Even a partially blocked vent can cause the buildup of the deadly gas in your home. Installing a carbon monoxide detector is wise, and testing it frequently might keep you and your loved ones safe.
Low-level exposure symptoms
You might experience dizziness, headaches, fatigue, nausea, vomiting and breath shortness that might make you believe it is a stomach virus, food poisoning or another common illness. However, if the symptoms disappear when you go out of your home into fresh air, and return when you go back inside, it might be a telltale sign of low-level carbon monoxide exposure.
Chronic exposure symptoms
Long-term exposure to low levels of carbon monoxide can have long-term consequences. Undiagnosed carbon monoxide poisoning can cause the following health problems that persist even after you are no longer dealing with exposure:
- Physical: Chronic fatigue, vomiting, nausea, headaches and dizziness are symptoms that you might experience along with tingling and pain in your joints and muscles.
- Attention and memory: You might struggle to concentrate or recall recent events, and finding the words to express your thoughts might be a challenge.
- Personality Changes: Long-term exposure to this odorless gas might cause you to act out of character and become irritable and short-tempered.
- Balance and vision: Exposure might leave you with ringing in your ears, blurred vision and problems to keep your balance.
It might be wise to have your whole family medically evaluated as soon as you notice any of the mentioned symptoms. The sooner treatment starts, the better.
Your legal rights
If carbon monoxide poisoning resulted from a defective furnace or malfunctioning detector, you might have grounds to pursue financial relief for economic and noneconomic damages. An experienced personal injury attorney can explain your rights under Texas laws. Liable parties might include the company responsible for the installation and servicing of the equipment, the manufacturer or any others in the chain of supply. If you rent a home or apartment, the landlord could also be held liable.