Fuel is burned in nearly any situation in which we use fire or natural gas power, from running our vehicles to heating our homes and workplaces. When an area isn’t properly ventilated where fuel is burning, you and other Iowa residents may be in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
According to the Mayo Clinic, carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when a buildup of this odorless, colorless gas in the air accumulates in your body. This might happen if you are in a natural gas-heated confined space, such as a small office, and someone has blocked the ventilation system with storage boxes. Carbon monoxide can also build up in your car if you’re warming it up on a cold winter morning but you don’t realize the tailpipe is blocked by snow. The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include the following:
- Dizziness or confusion
- A dull headache
- Weakness and shortness of breath
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blurred vision
- Loss of consciousness
Too much carbon monoxide in your body can cause severe tissue damage, brain damage or death. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning in yourself, a family member or co-worker, it is important to get everyone outside for fresh air and seek immediate medical attention.
Carbon monoxide detectors are recommended in homes and workplaces to protect those inside. You may be eligible for compensation if a faulty detector failed to detect a dangerous situation or if your employers did not take precautions to detect carbon monoxide or prevent it from building up in the air.