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Emissions expose Nigerians to CO poisoning

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By Abdulwasiu Usman

Poor ventilation can lead to hazardous accumulation of this gas.

Experts have revealed that Nigerians are facing a grave risk of suffering from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning due to the rising emission levels. The National Library of Medicine explains that this hazardous phenomenon happens when carbon monoxide accumulates in the bloodstream. Experts warn that excessive CO levels in the air would prompt the body to substitute life-sustaining oxygen in red blood cells with lethal carbon monoxide, which consequently poses a grave threat of severe tissue damage or potential fatality.

Carbon monoxide, an odorless, tasteless, and colorless gas, can be produced from the combustion of fuels like gas, wood, propane, or charcoal. According to Dr. Titus Igwe, a specialist in public health, improper ventilation of appliances and engines can lead to hazardous accumulations of this gas, the situation tends to become worsened in tightly enclosed areas. He stated that anyone exposed to carbon monoxide must urgently seek medical assistance and find a well-ventilated area.

Symptoms will arise within two hours of exposure to the gas.

Dr. Igwe said the detrimental impact of carbon monoxide poisoning on the brain and heart could easily give rise to flu-like symptoms without the presence of a fever. He cited various distinct symptoms of CO poisoning, such as weakness, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath, and intense headaches. Additional signs include hazy vision, cognitive disarray, drowsiness, loss of muscle control, and even a complete loss of consciousness in severe cases. In some cases, he said, symptoms relating to the nervous system and brain may arise following the recuperation from gas poisoning.

The Managing Director of Olorun-Osebi Hospital in Ilorin, Kwara State, Dr. Idowu Olohun-Oshebi, explained that carbon monoxide poisoning takes place when the concentration of CO in the bloodstream increases. He further emphasized that once an individual becomes intoxicated with this lethal gas, they will start to manifest symptoms within two hours. These symptoms may include loss of balance, vision and memory impairment simultaneously. Dr Chidi Kalu, another medical professional, cautioned that individuals who are asleep, under the influence of narcotics, or alcohol might face heightened risks when exposed with CO poisoning.

Individuals affected could experience heart rate abnormality.

Kalu expressed that Carbon monoxide has the ability to induce brain damage or fatality without anyone noticing the issue. Moreover, prolonged exposure to CO can result in severe heartbeat irregularities, seizures, loss of consciousness, and ultimately death. Dr. Rod Brouhard, a highly acclaimed author and prominent emergency medical technician paramedic in the United States, emphasizes in his article that individuals affected by carbon monoxide poisoning could experience an abnormality in their heart rate. This anomaly may manifest as either a faster heartbeat known as tachycardia or a slower rhythm called bradycardia. Ultimately, if left unaddressed, these heart irregularities have the potential to culminate in a fatal outcome.

Moreover, CO poisoning treatment does not guarantee long-term recovery; it leaves individuals vulnerable to enduring neurological issues such as memory difficulties, mood swings, melancholy, speech impairments, impaired sight, dementia, or symptoms akin to those of Parkinson’s disease. Brouhard emphasized the gravity of this condition, cautioning that it may swiftly prove fatal. Vulnerable populations such as children, pregnant women, older adults, and those with chronic ailments are particularly susceptible to its severe and rapid impact. According to the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, CO is a naturally occurring substance that arises during combustion. The majority of poisoning incidents are caused by inhaling this gas, which rapidly builds up in enclosed areas.

CO alarm is the best preventive method at home.

Bernard Uranta, a safety officer, strongly advocates for the use of carbon monoxide alarms as the best method of prevention at home. He asserts that these alarms, which are accessible, should be installed in every household to effectively detect smoke or fumes. To ensure maximum safety, Uranta advises individuals to have their heating system, water heater, and gas or coal-burning appliance annually serviced by a qualified technician. He cautioned against the use of an electrical generator indoors or in a distance less than 20 feet from any window, door, or vent.

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Ask Nigeria
1 month ago

Emissions expose Nigerians to CO poisoning. – Poor ventilation can lead to hazardous accumulation of this gas.  – Express your point of view.

1 month ago

Nigerians may become CO poisoned due to emissions. An unsafe buildup of this gas might result from inadequate ventilation. Due to the harmful impact poor ventilation can have on gas, we should exercise caution when it comes to it. So that these emissions cease.

1 month ago

It can be dangerous to be around carbon monoxide and to have poor ventilation. Everyone should put adequate ventilation first and adopt the required safety precautions.A warning is given, which means there is a serious risk of serious tissue damage or perhaps death.

Adeoye Adegoke
1 month ago

That’s definitely a concerning issue. The exposure of Nigerians to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning due to emissions and poor ventilation is indeed a serious matter. Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas that can be extremely harmful to human health. It’s important for individuals and communities to be aware of the potential risks and take necessary precautions to ensure proper ventilation in their homes and workplaces. This can include regular maintenance of appliances, using exhaust fans, and avoiding the use of fuel-burning devices indoors. Additionally, government and regulatory bodies should also play a role in raising awareness, enforcing safety standards, and promoting clean and sustainable energy sources to reduce emissions. Everyone’s safety and well-being should be a top priority, and addressing this issue requires collective effort and awareness. 🏠🌬️💨