The use of natural gas in the home is economical and affordable—that is, when the fuel is flowing smoothly through its designated cycle. However, when the ships aren’t sailing smoothly, that useful gas can transition into a deadly poison we know as carbon monoxide.
Odorless and colorless, carbon monoxide poisoning has unfortunately become relative common and is the result of more than 20,000 emergency room visits and 400 deaths annually in the US alone. While the toxicity of carbon monoxide exposure has been acknowledged since ancient history, modern science weighs in with these estimates.
How Much Carbon Monoxide is Too Much?
While carbon monoxide is necessary for many forms of life to exist, when too much is absorbed by the human lungs, it can source numerous issues. So how much is too much? Here’s what scientists and epidemiologists say.
Anything considered above 100 parts per million (ppm) is considered dangerous to human health. Long-term exposure over 50 ppm per day beyond limitations of eight hours daily is also considered as ‘toxic’ levels. The estimates break down as:
- Low CO Levels: < 50 ppm
- Mid Level CO: 51—100 ppm
- High CO Levels: > 101 ppm
- Danger Zone CO Levels: > 101 ppm if symptoms have presented themselves
Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
At 50 ppm, symptoms typically don’t present in healthy beings, but levels at 200 ppm and greater can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness and fatigue after eight hours of exposure. When levels are at 400 ppm and greater, side effects can become life-threatening as headaches worsen along with other symptoms.
Once exposure gets to 800 ppm, one can go unconscious and die within a few short hours. Double the levels to 1600 ppm, and death is common within one hour. This is what makes having a reliable carbon monoxide detection system so vital. Along with monitoring services, families feel safe 24/7 knowing that if gas leaks occur, help isn’t far away.
Avoiding CO in the Home with Routine Inspections and Gas Line Repair as Needed
There’s no easier way to keep things in the home safe than by taking precautions. These include annual inspections of all systems and appliances that utilize natural gas along with measures such as alarm systems. If your system detects CO, prepare yourself for a possible gas line repair.