Iowa Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Reminds Iowans of Carbon Monoxide Dangers


For Immediate Release: December 14, 2010
Contact: Kerry Koonce
Telephone: (515) 281-9646

Printer icon Printer Friendly PDF Version

Iowa Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) Reminds Iowans of Carbon Monoxide Dangers

DES MOINES – Carbon monoxide poisoning is a dangerous problem that is often heightened during winter months. Iowa Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) is urging Iowans to be cognizant of the dangers caused by the colorless and odorless gas that can overcome an individual without warning.

“Carbon monoxide poisoning can sicken an individual quickly leading to severe illness, coma or death,” stated Iowa Labor Commissioner David Neil.

While carbon monoxide poisoning is possible all year round, it is especially important to watch for exposure in the winter. Exposure can be limited by:

• Never using a generator indoors or within an enclosed space such as a garage, crawl space or basement. Opening windows and doors may help to prevent buildup of the gas.
• Make sure generators have 3-4 feet of clear space on all sides for ventilation purposes.
• Generators used outdoors should not be placed new doors, windows or vents that could lead to a buildup of carbon monoxide in an occupied space.
• Check all space heaters and stoves frequently to ensure carbon monoxide is not building up.
• Never leaving vehicles running in a closed garage.

Individuals who have been exposed to excessive levels of carbon monoxide will often develop headaches, dizziness and drowsiness. This can also accompany nausea and tightness in the chest. Anyone who believes they have been exposed to poisonous levels of carbon monoxide should move to fresh air immediately and seek medical attention.