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Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and toxic gas. Because it is impossible to see, taste, or smell the toxic fumes, CO can kill you before you are aware that it is in your home. At lower levels of exposure, CO causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu. These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea, and fatigue. The effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person depending on age, overall health, and the concentration and length of exposure.
CO gas can come from several sources: gas fire appliances, charcoal and gas grills, wood burning furnaces or fireplaces, and motor vehicles. Anything that burns fuel creates CO. Usually the CO is either outside, vented to the atmosphere, goes up a chimney, or outside through a range hood or fan.
Everyone is at risk of CO poisoning. Medical experts believe that unborn babies, infants, children, senior citizens, and people with heart or lung problems are at an even greater risk for CO poisoning.