A UL listed Carbon Monoxide (CO) detector that is found at the common hardware store is not required to alarm until a concentration of 70ppm (part per million) is obtained for 4 hours. This will keep you from death, but exposure to low level concentrations over time can create serious health risks. These risks increase dramatically for infants, the elderly or anyone with serious health conditions. CO prevents red blood cells from absorbing oxygen correctly. High concentrations in a short time will result in death, but low level exposure can result in health concerns as well. CO exposure will make the victim experience flu like symptoms. Nausea, head aches, dizziness, weakness, vomiting, chest pain and confusion are common symptoms of CO poisoning. Long term exposure can result in memory loss, reduced brain function, erratic behavior and reduced cognitive skills.
If anyone in your home falls into the “high risk” category for low level CO poisoning; please consider a low level detector for your home.