Levels Of Gas
If you have a fuel burning appliances that is burning incorrectly and is producing CO gas then you can expect to have some symptoms of poisoning. The level of poisoning that you may experience depends upon the levels and concentration of gas in the house. Lower levels can be breathed in over a long period with only mild effects being experienced. Higher levels can be even more dangerous and could result in death.
How Much Of The Gas Is Dangerous?
But what levels of CO gas can you expect to experience when an appliance burns incompletely and what effects will these have? The measurement of the gas in the air is measured in parts per million or ppm.
There are between 1 and 4 ppm that occur naturally in the body.
At 5 ppm you may get a reading on a CO tester that reads low levels of gas.
9 ppm is the allowable spillage from fuel burning appliances that can be released into a house for up to 8 hours of daily exposure.
Between 15 – 20 ppm a person could experience feeling slightly lethargic.
At 35 ppm for a period of approximately 8 hours you will most probably have headaches and dizziness.
When the level increases to 100 ppm, the same headaches and dizziness will appear in around 3 hours rather than eight.
When the CO reaches 200 ppm, the effects will be similar and you will develop headaches at the same time as 100 ppm but may also find you have a loss of judgement.
If the exposure is to 400 ppm then your headache will come in around 1 to 2 hours.
Once the gas reaches 800 ppm you will experience nausea, dizziness and convulsions in around 45 minutes.
At 1600 ppm there are again headaches, dizziness and nausea in about 20 minutes along with an increased heart rate and death will occur in approximately 2 hours.
3200 ppm will mean the same symptoms of headaches, dizziness and nausea but this will start after about 5 minutes and death will happen within 30 minutes.
6400 ppm brings headaches, dizziness and nausea in 1 or 2 minutes and convulsions and death in less than 20 minutes.
If the CO gas is at 12800 ppm which constitutes just 1.28% concentration, unconsciousness happens in 2 or 3 breaths and death will occur in less than 3 minutes.
You can see how an incorrectly burning appliance can spiral out of control and higher levels of the gas could potentially mean you will pass out before you have a chance to escape. Having a device that will let you know when these levels reach too high could end up saving your life.