Health: The Monoxide Menace

The latest mine disasters have focused attention once again on the perils of coal mining--especially the risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.

But carbon monoxide is a concern for all of us. The odorless, colorless gas can be found at low levels in most homes that have fuel-burning furnaces or water heaters, gas dryers or attached garages. It's a product of the incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels and is present in the exhaust of all internal-combustion engines. According to the Centers for Disease Control, carbon monoxide poisoning contributes each year to an average of 1,091 unintentional deaths and 2,385 suicides in the...

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