Many Americans may have been slowly poisoned by carbon monoxide without realizing it. Carbon monoxide is known as the “silent killer” because the fumes are odorless, tasteless, and colorless. It is also difficult to trace the source of the poisoning.
The symptoms can include headaches, nausea, dizziness, light-headedness, fatigue, weakness, difficulty focusing, and mood changes. Many of these maladies can be brushed off as fatigue or eating something that went bad. If any of these symptoms reoccur, don’t brush it off as nothing. Carbon monoxide poisoning causes more than 20,000 emergency room visits and more than 400 deaths per year according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you feel these symptoms at home, but not outside such as at work, start investigating for carbon monoxide leaks in your home. Even low level exposure can lead to brain injuries, not to mention the dangers of ongoing, high levels of risk.
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What is Carbon Monoxide?
What is it?
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a deadly toxic gas that results from incomplete combustion. Sometimes it can often give off the unique odor of aldehydes, suggesting the presence of CO. Carbon monoxide impairs the functioning of red blood cells to carry oxygen to the tissues, which can lead to serious health risks and even death.
The current Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) permissible exposure limit to carbon monoxide is 50 parts per million. There is no safe or normal level of carbon monoxide and exposure should be avoided at all costs.
Causes of carbon monoxide poisoning in apartments:
Carbon monoxide poisoning is responsible for the highest number of deaths by poisoning in the United States. Many of these injuries are the result of faulty or improperly vented home appliances such as water heaters, furnaces, boilers, or cooking equipment.
*If you suspect carbon monoxide exposure, get out of the house immediately and call 911, your local fire department and/or PG&E, and seek medical attention.
Three Levels of Exposure
- Mild: headache and nausea with some rare cases of vomiting
- Moderate: increased nausea and dizziness, feeling of weakness or fatigue, difficulty concentrating and breathing
- Severe: brain damage, seizure, coma, and death
A blood test for carboxyhemoglobin levels indicates levels of carbon monoxide in the blood but does not determine if physical damages have been sustained. Consult a toxicologist, neurologist, or cardiologist, to rule out the possibility of lasting or permanent injury.
Our tenant rights lawyers at Brinton Firm will gather the necessary evidence to establish your claim: medical reports, expert testimony, and professional investigations to determine your carbon monoxide rights as a tenant.
Prevention is best:
Homes and businesses should be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors that are in good working order. Anyone who may be exposed to carbon monoxide at the job must be supplied with ventilators and other safety equipment to avoid chronic, acute, or deadly exposure.
California Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act requires CO alarms in all single-family dwellings. Make sure the CO alarms in your home are in working order.
The injury or death of a loved one due to carbon monoxide poisoning can be overwhelming and devastating. The experienced lawyers at Brinton Firm may be able to help you with gas leak negligence lawsuits.
Carbon Monoxide Cases Due To Toxic Conditions
Landlords may be liable under these conditions
- Violation of carbon monoxide detector laws. California requires landlords to install carbon monoxide detectors and maintain them in working order in rentals.
- Violation of health and safety codes. States often dictate minimum standards for health and safety such as proper ventilation for gas ranges or regular maintenance of fireplaces in rentals.
- Negligent maintenance. California recognizes the implied warranty of habitability where landlords provide tenants with rentals that meet basic health and safety standards.