KCUR News
12:49 pm
Fri December 4, 2009

Drop in Temperature Means Increased Risk of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Kansas City, MO – As temperatures drop, health officials are warning about the increased risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide is released when fuels like natural gas and wood are burned.

Randy Mayley is with the Missouri Department of Health and says furnaces and other heating sources that aren't working properly can increase exposure to carbon monoxide, and cause poisoning. He also says it's really hard to tell whether too much of the substance is present.

"The problem is that because you can't see it, smell it, taste it, people don't think about it," Mayley said.

Mayley says by the time people experience poisoning symptoms, like dizziness, it may be too difficult for them to react and get care.

Last year in Missouri, about 50 people died from exposure to carbon monoxide and nearly 300 others were sent to hospital emergency rooms.

Mayley says the best way to prevent poisonings is to install a carbon monoxide detector and check to make sure home heating systems are working correctly.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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