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Chronic carbon monoxide exposure (possible)
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Chronic carbon monoxide exposure (possible)

First, I apologize for making a 2nd post so soon, but I believe this maybe relevant.  
Based on what I have researched since, being the usual symptoms are headache, dizziness, and fatigue, the whole list of symptoms match me perfectly.

Currently, I live alone in the attic of a large house and I have a seperate heating and a/c unit from the downstairs. In the small closet where my heater is located, there is a connection to the garage (I know because I smell my brother's cigarette smoke rising up). I do not know if this is relevant, but in hindsight, the symptoms I described began very mildly right after I first moved in here 4 years ago, and became much worse back at the end of April right around the first time I used my (seperate) a/c unit for the first time of the summer season. I live down south, but Im starting to use my heater at nights now and I'm growing of concern for chronic c02. I do have a co2 detector, but I assume that is only for acute exposure levels.

Basically, the question is, is there a way to detect chronic exposure levels? Other then to just move out and see if I improve? What is the general prognosis for someone with my symptoms IF the case is chronic co2 exposure?
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My sisters apt last night-I visited. When I went in I smelled gas.  lower level entrance.  I do not visit her often-seasonal, to put
AC in to take AC out.  At anyrate, last night the smell was intense.  I think from previous entries possible always the same odor.  Just last night, it seemed moreso.  Upstairs her apt, seemed the same.  I told we had to open windows call gas company.  Long story shortened:  Ongoing issue, landlord 98 lives below, somewhat aware of situation, but relied on family friend for directive.  Family friend also called in last night, said "he was aware of the smell months ago, thought he adjusted the flame on gas heater, but knew the venting was amiss"  Well, he showed me in the attic the BLACK LIQUID seeping down the chimney that indicated there was a clog.  Which is where my sisters heater vented as well as main down stairs furnace vented thru that chimney.  Which obviously has been clogged.  Years?  My sister, deaf, 65 experience about 4-5 years ago a mini-stroke if you will in her brain with a small artery/vein (I dont know which it was) since memory loss on daily things have been deteriorating.  She is constantly fatigued, coughing, restricted swallowing often chokes with eating.  No explanation, feels constriction.  I wonder could these be syptoms (symptoms) of prolonged exposure.  When the gas company arrived, asked us to close all up, so that they could light the heater, and test CO2-in minutes it reached 185.  Less than 10 is safe.  I worry that all this time her inhaling far more than that all winter closed up, what the results or symptoms may be.  Please help me with some advice.  Here is my email:linus_lynn***@****
thank you,
Lynnell Ellis

First of all, you are confusing C02 (carbon dioxide) with CO (Carbon monoxide).

The Carbon monoxide detectors are quite good and inexpensive. The range of readings depends upon the detector. Consumer's reports did a review some time back, but trhe Aircraft Magazines did a better job. The magazine Kitplane reviewed a half dozen of the inexpensive CO detectors during ther last year. CO in an aircraft cockpit is deadly.

CO (Carbon monoxide) is odorless and colorless. The gas company adds a "smell" to household gas to make it detectable.

CO is similar elecftrically to O (oxygen) and binds to red blood cells more strongly than oxygen. It may take days for the CO to release. This means the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood is diminished.

Basically there is no "safe" threshold for CO exposure.

If there is presence of CO the premises are unliveable under any circumstances. The source of ther CO must be identified and eliminated.
Thanks for writing to the forum!

At 10% level you one can smell carbon dioxide, a pungent but stimulating smell like fresh, carbonated water. Fatigue, labored breathing, headaches, tinnitus as well as impaired vision are the symptoms that start at this level. This is flowed by confusion in a few minutes, followed by unconsciousness. Between 10-100% the person becomes suffocated. Hence chances of it being CO2 poisoning are less. Also CO2 poisoning is not possible by faulty vent etc.

On the other hand, as Caregiver pointed out, the gas company would have measured carbon monoxide. Malfunctioning exhaust as in your sister’s apartment could have caused this.
The symptoms of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can be memory loss, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, depression, hallucination, flu like symptoms, fatigue, impaired judgment etc to name a few.
You will have to move your sister to hospital. Her blood CO level would need to be measured. She would need high pressure oxygen to bring down the CO level in blood. The apartment will have to be made safe by either the gas company or fire department.
Hope this helps. It is difficult to comment beyond this at this stage. Please let me know if there is any thing else and do keep me posted. Take care!

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