Health Watch - Winter Survival: Carbon Monoxide

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re offering some winter survival tips. The appliances you use to help you stay warm in the winter cold also could cause carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless poisonous gas that results from incompletely burned fuel.

Dr. Kurt Kleinschmidt, a poison expert at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says most carbon monoxide poisoning cases result from improperly installed or maintained gas appliances or from using gasoline-powered engines indoors. Have your furnace inspected regularly, don’t use a gas stove to heat the house, and don’t run gas-powered generators or car engines in the garage with the garage door shut. You also shouldn’t cook indoors using gas or charcoal grills meant for outdoor use.

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January 2009

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