Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) can build up indoors and poison both people and animals who breathe it. CO is a deadly, colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. It is produced by the incomplete burning of various fuels, including coal, wood, charcoal, oil, kerosene, propane, and natural gas. The Department of Health and Senior Services partnered with the Missouri State Fire Marshal to create a YouTube CO playlist of quick tip videos to help you visualize and learn more about the various sources of carbon monoxide.

Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning. Carbon monoxide is harmful when breathed because it displaces oxygen in the blood and deprives the heart, brain, and other vital organs of oxygen. CO poisoning may occur sooner in those most susceptible: young children, elderly people, people with lung or heart disease, people at high altitudes, or those who already have elevated CO blood levels. Carbon monoxide poisoning also poses a special risk to fetuses.

More information is available from the department's Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Surveillance program, at (573) 751-6102.

A boat engine can cause as much carbon monoxide as almost 200 cars.

Never use a power washer or other gas powered machine indoors.

Homes need both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

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