Mold Testing & Inspection in Houston, TX
Carbon Dioxide Poisoning in a Home or Building
Carbon dioxide is a by-product of reactions within the human body. We exhale carbon dioxide. Quite often we can find elevated readings of carbon dioxide in environments where individuals typically congregate over long periods of time such as offices that are in close proximity to each other. Ventilation systems and make-up fresh air from the outside play an important role in increased/decreased levels of carbon dioxide in a home or office environment. With proper ventilation and fresh make up air, levels of carbon dioxide will be similar to that of the outside air quality.
High concentrations of carbon dioxide can also be attributed to the following:
- Confined spaces that have poor air circulation such as tunnels, sewer lines, various tanks, mines, and ship holds; and
- Incomplete combustion of poorly maintained or faulty gas and wood burning equipment, appliances, furnaces, boilers, gas powered generators, stoves, automobiles, and even scuba equipment.
- Any combustion of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil) for energy and transportation will emit carbon dioxide.
Health effects caused by carbon dioxide poisoning are related to the increased levels of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream. If there are increased levels of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream, this can cause decreased levels of oxygen in the blood which then hampers the flow of oxygen to the brain. Symptoms of carbon dioxide poisoning are headaches, flushed skin tone, high blood pressure, vision blurriness, lethargy, panic attacks, hallucinations, and vomiting.
Depending on where you live, typical outside levels of carbon dioxide range from approximately 350 ppm to 700 ppm. Urban areas will have higher levels of carbon dioxide due to vehicle use whereas rural areas will have much lower carbon dioxide levels due to the lesser amount of vehicle use. Inside air quality levels of carbon dioxide should be similar to that of the outside air quality. If levels of carbon dioxide are at or above 1000 ppm, additional fresh make up air is needed to be adjusted/increased within the office or home. Additionally, a complete inspection of and maintenance of gas burning appliances and furnaces should occur.
Carbon dioxide is one of the chief greenhouse gases responsible for global warming and climate change. To help reduce carbon dioxide greenhouse gases, maintenance of appliances, equipment, automobiles is critical. Practice energy efficiency. Use mass transit. Carpool. Use energy star appliances and bulbs. Reduce energy consumption and recycle as much as possible.
If you have further questions or would like to set up an inspection or testing, please contact Robert J Reda & Associates LLC.
Robert J Reda CIH, CSP, MAC
Robert J Reda & Associates LLC
Providing professional consulting services in Safety, Industrial Hygiene, and Environmental
Texas Department of Health Services Licensed Mold Assessment Consultant