Recognizing early warning signs of CO poisoning is sometimes difficult because early symptoms of CO exposure (headache, dizziness, nausea) are nonspecific and may be mistaken for symptoms of other illnesses such as colds, flu or food poisoning.
Did you know?
The severity of symptoms of CO exposure is influenced by three main factors:
- the concentration of CO in the environment,
- how long the exposure lasts, and
- work load and breathing rate.
Generally, symptoms are similar to the flu without a fever.
Common Mild Exposure Symptoms
- Slight headache
- Fatigue (flu-like symptoms)
Common Medium Exposure Symptoms
- Fast heart rate
- Throbbing headache
Common Extreme Exposure Symptoms
- Heart and lung failure
- Brain damage
Health Effects of Carbon Monoxide
||Maximum allowed ambient by EPA
||Maximum for 8 hour exposure
||Headache in 2 to 3 hours
||Life threatening after 3 hours
||Dizziness, nausea, convulsion in 45 minutes
||Headache, dizziness, nausea in 20 minutes
||Headache, dizziness, nausea in 10 minutes
|| Headache, dizziness, nausea in 2 minutes
Learn more facts about carbon monoxide and how you can protect yourself from CO poisoning.