Hiding beneath our vehicles, our exhaust systems keep a low profile, but they are extremely important. They funnel away the dangerous gases produced during engine combustion. A broken exhaust system poses extreme danger because it releases carbon monoxide (CO) - an odorless, tasteless, highly toxic gas - which can travel into the passenger area and cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Why should you care? CO poisoning can be debilitating or even deadly.
You may not think much of a furnace that groans or occasionally belches some exhaust, but what if it's leaking extremely toxic gas that you can't see, smell, or taste into your house? It's possible, and you should beware.
In the early 1900s, miners carried canary birds into the mines with them as poison testers. At the time, no available instruments could detect carbon monoxide (CO) - a lethal, tasteless, odorless, invisible, flammable gas. However, if the canary stopped singing or perished from CO exposure, miners knew to evacuate. Canaries have since become ingrained in mining culture, even though more sophisticated technology has replaced them as CO detectors. Unfortunately, the same threat of CO in the workplace remains.
You wouldn't willingly inhale a hefty whiff of tailpipe exhaust every morning after breakfast - you'd have to be crazy! But what if you were breathing something similarly toxic without knowing it? Carbon monoxide (CO) - a colorless, odorless, tasteless, deadly gas - is a byproduct from burning fuels. It is extremely harmful with cumulative, damaging effects.
We know that one bite from a cobra can kill since its venom is toxic to humans. But did you know that a one-time exposure to the poisonous gas carbon monoxide can do the same thing? Scariest of all: we only see cobras at the zoo, but carbon monoxide is around us every day, and you can't even tell.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a dangerous and extremely toxic gas that you cannot see, smell, or taste. When someone gets CO poisoning, the CO binds to the hemoglobin in the blood and prevents oxygen from being distributed to the body. Hypoxia is the result, and it can cause organ failure, permanent brain damage, and even death.
We measure length with a ruler, weight with a scale, and temperature with a thermometer, but how do you measure for the colorless, odorless, tasteless, and extremely toxic gas - carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide (also known by its chemical formula "CO") is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, and non-irritating gas produced by burning fuels. When a person inhales it, CO binds to the hemoglobin in the blood and rapidly cuts off the body's oxygen supply. Acute poisoning can kill a person in minutes. Toxicologists consider CO one of the most dangerous poisons, dubbing it the "silent killer" for its elusive properties.
We don't pay much attention to the smoke rising off the grill, the exhaust trailing the family car, or the invisible backdraft flowing from the fireplace, but something lethal lurks in the fumes.
In toxicology, dosage determines the case. In the same way, the severity of a carbon monoxide poisoning depends primarily on a person's exposure to it - the higher the dosage, the worse the poisoning.