OK, the subject of CARBON MONOXIDE came up in another post. CO as it is called is one of the most overlooked dangers one can have in a house, or cabin. It is truely a silent killer. Some say that there has to be high levels of CO before it can harm you. Wrong. Low levels and enough time can be just as bad. Some of what I have here you may have read in the other post but I thought it was important that more of you read it so here ya go...
As stated above you don't have to have high levels of CO to be affected. As a firefighter I often respond to CO alarms. I, for some reason, will start getting a headache almost as soon as I walk in if CO is present; even as low as 12ppm (parts per million). But the same thing happens when the MIL cooks.
The standards we use when we respond to such an alarm are: 9ppm for a home. At this level we have the owners open all the windows to start airing out the home. If we can not determine what the cause of the CO is, we will notify the gas company who can usually pinpoint the problem or atlteast get a lot closer with their equipment. If we see ppm's around 20 & up we start considering evacuation of the home until the problem can be resolved. We see people with headaches at these ppm's after a few hours of exposure all the time.
In commerical settings we use 35ppm as our "worry" number. Commerical settings get a higher ppm rating due to it being based on 8 hours of exposure. Many businesses produce CO from their line of work (ie. mills, weld shops, etc)
I have seen the negitive effects of CO many times over the years. The township east of mine has a memorial for a grand mother & I believe it was 3 grandchildren who never woke up. That was before CO detectors & I bet people around there still don't have them. This still happens today & there is no need for it.
Below are some links that really explain this & how CO affects the body.
Ambient Air/Residential Settings
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established an ambient (outdoor) CO air quality Federal standard of 9 ppm for an 8-hour exposure and 25 ppm for a short-term (1-hr) exposure [EPA 1991a]. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff recommends that long-term exposures to CO in indoor environments be limited to less than 15 ppm as an 8-hour TWA and 25 ppm for 1 hour, but product-specific recommendations for CO may vary depending on expected usage patterns and exposure.
The current Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) permissible exposure limit (PEL) for CO is 50 ppm as an 8-hour time-weighted average (TWA) [29 CFR 1910.1000*]. The NIOSH recommended exposure limit (REL) for CO is 35 ppm as an 8-hour TWA and a ceiling limit (CL) of 200 ppm [NIOSH 1992]. The NIOSH recommended immediately dangerous to life and health concentration (IDLH) for CO is 1,200 ppm. The IDLH is the concentration that could result in death or irreversible health effects, or prevent escape from the contaminated environment within 30 minutes. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has adopted a threshold limit value (TLV) for CO of 25 ppm as an 8-hour TWA [ACGIH 1992a].
I hope this causes all of you to go buy CO detectors for your house &/or cabin. Let's wake to hunt again!