Carbon monoxide (CO), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is a type of poisonous gas usually found in fumes produced by burning fuel, such as that which happens with motor vehicles. With the element being invisible, colorless, and odorless, it is almost impossible to detect it without the use of specialized equipment.
Reports suggest that nearly 500 Americans die every year due to accidental inhalation of CO gas. Common sources include motor vehicle exhaust, engine fumes, and smoke from fires. Carbon monoxide poisoning, however, is usually associated with a malfunctioning exhaust or mufflers.
Taysomtire.com and muffler experts share the potential dangers of this problem.
Emergency Room Visits
Each year, more than 400 die from unintentional CO poisoning, which are not linked to fires. More than 20,000 Americans visit emergency rooms every year because of exposure to carbon monoxide and about 20 per cent are required to stay for further monitoring. CO poisoning symptoms include weakness, dizziness, vomiting, upset stomach, confusion, and chest pain.
Exposure to CO
When you drive a vehicle that has a malfunctioning muffler or exhaust system, you are at great risk of being exposed to carbon monoxide. A blocked exhaust pipe on a running vehicle is another potential CO source. This can cause the gas to seep into the vehicle’s interior through cracks or leaks in the floorboard. Accumulated snow can also block the exhaust pipe so it is better to check it after a heavy snowfall.
Be aware of the signs of a malfunctioning muffler. Symptoms include loud noises coming from within, loss or lack of power, and car vibrations you have never experienced before. Have a mechanic check the exhaust system every year to avoid CO poisoning. Keep in mind that a small leak in the system can lead to CO buildup inside the car.
Carbon monoxide is a type of gas that can kill you quickly. Make sure that your exhaust system is in good working condition to prevent accidental CO poisoning.