Un-vented indoor heating appliances is sizable
source of indoor pollution. As
described from "The
Condensed Chemical Dictionary" carbon monoxide is a
colorless gas or liquid; practically odorless, also classed as an inorganic
compound. These specific attributes make carbon monoxide unable to sense by
What is Carbon
What are the sources of Carbon Monoxide?
Sources of Indoor Air
Definition (from The Condensed Chemical Dictionary):
Colorless gas or liquid; practically odorless. Burns with a violet
flame. Slightly soluble in water; soluble in alcohol and benzene.
Specific gravity 0.96716; boiling point -190oC;
solidification point -207oC; specific volume 13.8 cu.
ft./lb. (70oF). Auto-ignition temperature (liquid) 1128oF.
Classed as an inorganic compound.
Sources of Carbon Monoxide
Un-vented kerosene and gas space heaters; leaking chimneys and
furnaces; back-drafting from furnaces, gas water heaters, wood stoves,
and fireplaces; gas stoves. Automobile exhaust from attached garages.
Environmental tobacco smoke.
Health Effects Associated with Carbon Monoxide
At low concentrations, fatigue in healthy people and chest pain in
people with heart disease. At higher concentrations, impaired vision
and coordination; headaches; dizziness; confusion; nausea. Can cause
flu-like symptoms that clear up after leaving home. Fatal at very high
Levels in Homes
Average levels in homes without gas stoves vary from 0.5 to 5 parts
per million (ppm). Levels near properly adjusted gas stoves are often
5 to 15 ppm and those near poorly adjusted stoves may be 30 ppm or
- Keep gas appliances properly adjusted.
- Consider purchasing a vented space heater when replacing an
- Use proper fuel in kerosene space heaters.
- Install and use an exhaust fan vented to outdoors over gas stoves.
- Open flues when fireplaces are in use.
- Choose properly sized wood stoves that are certified to meet EPA
emission standards. Make certain that doors on all wood stoves fit
- Have a trained professional inspect, clean, and tune-up central
heating system (furnaces, flues, and chimneys) annually. Repair any
- Do not idle the car inside garage.
Environmental Protection Agency
Last updated on Monday,
November 18th, 2002
The information provided on
this page is based upon the EPA current scientific and
technical understanding of the issues presented. Following the advice given
will not necessarily provide complete protection in all situations or
against all health hazards that may be caused by indoor air pollution and
other indoor environmental contaminants.
The EPA have not reviewed or
approved all the information and documents on indoor air quality that may be
provided by other groups or organizations.
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