Carbon Monoxide is somewhat of a silent killer. In fact, it is thought to be one of the biggest causes of poisoning based deaths in the world. It cannot be seen or smelt and over time can build up.
One of the best ways to try and minimise any risk of Carbon Monoxide is with effective detection. However, scientists are now working on a possible antidote for anyone that has been exposed to this harmful gas.
What is this antidote?
It is thought that a “scavenger” style antidote could be injected into a person. This antidote contains a specially engineered protein that has been created to rapidly seek out and bind itself to any Carbon Monoxide that is in the blood stream. This means that the Carbon Monoxide will not be able to attach itself to the red blood cells and effectively stop the poisoning process.
Whilst it sounds like an amazing discovery this isn’t an instant fix. Much like any other medical interventions, it will take some time before we actually see this available in the mainstream population.
More about Carbon Monoxide
As we have already mentioned, Carbon Monoxide has no recognisable odour. Which means that it could be pumping out into your home for some time before you notice it. It starves the brain of oxygen by hijacking the red blood cells travelling around the body and can be incredibly dangerous if you are exposed to it for long periods of time.
Unfortunately, children are particularly at risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. It is fatal in many cases and for those that survive its effects, they are likely to suffer long lasting neurological issues.
How does Carbon Monoxide get into our homes?
In most cases Carbon Monoxide is made when a fuel is burnt within a home. Some of the most common contributing factors to Carbon Monoxide poisoning include car exhaust, portable generators, gas heaters and gas stoves.
If these are used in an enclosed space, then there is a greater risk of it building up, causing poisoning. Winter time poses the greatest risk and many people use these items more.
The symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning
It is difficult to ascertain whether you are suffering from Carbon Monoxide poisoning. The main symptoms can be confused with a number of different conditions. However, if you are suffering from any of the below, then the best advice is to get out of the property and into fresh air.
The symptoms include:
· Nausea and vomiting
· Chest pain
Taking precautions against Carbon Monoxide poisoning
Thankfully there are things that you can do to lower your risk of Carbon Monoxide poisoning. One of the simplest ways is to install a carbon monoxide detector. These are battery operated and will sound an alarm if high levels of Carbon Monoxide are picked up in your home.
You should also make sure that your furnace and any gas appliances in the home are checked annually. This makes sure that they are not only performing well but also they are properly ventilated too.
Cars should never be run in a garage that is attached to your house. This is even true if the door is open. Not only this but you should also make sure that you never use portable generators or camping stoves inside.
By taking these simple precautions, you can protect yourself against Carbon Monoxide poisoning, and hope that scientists find a solution for this huge problem sooner rather than later.