Waushara County Health News By Waushara County Health Department

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning


Winter weather is just around the corner. This is the time of year the furnaces are turned on and fireplaces stoked up for those chilly evenings. These devices should receive routine maintenance prior to use. This will ensure safe and proper functioning which could prevent release of carbon monoxide (CO) in your home.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services states that carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas produced through incomplete burning of fuels. CO is found in fumes produced any time fuel is burned in cars or trucks, generators, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces.

Carbon monoxide is harmful when inhaled because it takes the place of oxygen in the blood. Symptoms of poisoning include: headache, dizziness, weakness, up-set stomach, vomiting, chest pain, confusion, loss of consciousness, and death. According to the 2017 Waushara County Environmental Health Profile, the rate of Emergency Room visits related to carbon monoxide poisoning is 10.9 per 100,000 people; whereas the state of Wisconsin is at 7.9.


You should always have a carbon monoxide detector plugged in and ready to alarm. The Center for Disease Control recommends that it should be placed near every sleeping area. It is also recommended to have a CO detector on every floor of your house placed about 5 feet from the ground.

Carbon monoxide pois-oning does not just happen inside the home. Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen inside of the body as well. Wisconsin Department of Health Services states that using tobacco products can increase the amount of carbon monoxide in a person’s body. This can be especially harmful in a pregnant woman’s developing fetus. According to the Wisconsin Interactive Statistics on Health, in 2016 there were 31 women out of 207 births that reported smoking at some point during their pregnancy.    


Please call the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW and receive free services on decreasing your tobacco use. If you are pregnant, text “FB INFO” to 97779 for specific counseling throughout your pregnancy on tobacco use.