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CARBON MONOXIDE: IPC issues warning

January 13, 2012

By JAMES THOMLISON
Staff Writer
COLUMBIA CITY — The Indiana Poison Center (IPC) is reminding everyone about a potentially deadly poison that can be easy to overlook because it has no color and is odorless.

That poison is carbon monoxide (CO), a gas that forms when something is not burned completely or is burned in an enclosed space where there is insufficient airflow. CO poisons the body’s cells and stops them from getting and using oxygen.

Dr. James Mowry, Director of the IPC, said common sources can include poorly ventilated wood burning stoves or space heaters, automobile exhaust or gas appliances that are not working properly.

Mild symptoms of CO poisoning can be mistaken for food poisoning or the flu, according to Mowry.

Columbia City Fire Chief Tom LaRue said the department responded to five cases of carbon monoxide exposure in 2011.

To learn more about poison prevention, call the IPC at 1-800-222-1222 or visit the center’s website at www.iuhealth.org/poisoncontrol.
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