Surprising Ways You Can Be Exposed to Carbon Monoxide
When you think of carbon monoxide poisoning and the risk factors associated with this serious, and often deadly, illness, you think of leaking gases in your home, smoke inhalation during a fire, and other problems inside your home involving the gas service or fire. But you may not realize that there are many different ways that you can be exposed to carbon monoxide, and that even limited exposure to carbon monoxide in some instances can make you sick.
Keeping yourself and your family safe from illness or injury due to carbon monoxide exposure is about being in the know and watching out for the very real and very surprising ways and places you may find yourself exposed to this harmful gas. Here are some of the most surprising ways you can be exposed to carbon monoxide.
- Stores that are currently, or have recently been, waxing their floors. Many chain stores, especially those that are open 24 hours a day, must perform maintenance activities while customers are in the store. Many floor waxes are propane based, and that means that the heat and motion of the buffer can release propane gases, or carbon monoxide, into the air.
- Sitting in your car in the garage. Many people leave their cars running in the garage and buckle their children in the backseat while they gather necessities for the road. The fumes from your exhaust pipe contain CO2 and can injure your children or make them seriously ill.
- Bringing your camping lantern or portable heater into your tent while camping. When it is cold or dark on a camping trip you may be tempted to bring your heaters and lanterns inside the tent with you. These conveniences run on propane or kerosene. The fumes may include carbon monoxide and can cause serious illness or death. Although tents are only made of fabric, when the windows are zipped shut fresh air supply is cut off.
- Cooking on the grill in the house. The only way you should cook food inside the house is with a proper cooking appliance, your stove or a microwave. Cooking a grill, whether charcoal or propane, inside your home will produce noxious fumes.