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Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Also called: CO poisoning


Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that has no odor or color. But it is very dangerous. It can cause sudden illness and death. CO is found in combustion fumes, such as those made by cars and trucks, lanterns, stoves, gas ranges and heating systems. CO from these fumes can build up in places that don't have a good flow of fresh air. You can be poisoned by breathing them in. The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion

It is often hard to tell if someone has CO poisoning, because the symptoms may be like those of other illnesses. People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before they have symptoms. A CO detector can warn you if you have high levels of CO in your home.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Start Here

  • (Consumer Product Safety Commission) - PDF
  • (Environmental Protection Agency, Indoor Environments Division)
  • Video (Consumer Product Safety Commission)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • (United States Fire Administration)

Prevention and Risk Factors

  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) Also in
  • (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health)
  • (American Red Cross) - PDF
  • (Consumer Product Safety Commission) - PDF
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) - PDF


  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)

Videos and Tutorials

  • Video (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

Striking laughter

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • Also in
  • Also in


  • (American Academy of Pediatrics)

Older Adults

  • (Environmental Protection Agency) - PDF

Patient Handouts