Carbonoxide poisoning...????

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by old-mo, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    Over the months, there has been a few lives lost through "Carbonoxide Poisoning"....:Sad:............. Be it tent/caravan/M.home/house/flat...

    Surely it is the same gas/fumes from our cooker hobs...

    How come we dont get poisoned... ?


    And you thought I didn`t do serious... :Smile:
     
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  2. DesRes

    DesRes Funster

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    I think you mean Carbon Monoxide Mo, that's the killer.
    The gas from the burners should burn completely, one of the products of combustion is Carbon Dioxide, which is useless to us but great for plants and putting out fires.
    If the oxygen in the air is low or the appliance is faulty then Carbon Monoxide can be produced and that's a killer, it's poisonous and it don't take much to see you off.
    No doubt some techies will be along with O level chemistry to give us the formulae.
    This is why BBQ's just outside tents are so dangerous. The charcoal that is away from the fresh air and struggling for oxygen can burn to give off CO.:Sad:
     
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  3. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    DesRes is correct, it is carbon MONoxide that is dangerous and it is olny given off from poor combustion. Two reasons why your hob doesn't kill you are:

    1, improper combustion is very obvious as the flame is visible, imporoper combustion results in yellow flames, lower heat output and lots of sooty deposits on your cooking utensils.

    2, hobs are generally in use for relatively short periods.

    Carbon Monoxide (CO, not CO2 which is carbon dioxide) is poisonous because it is more attractive to the haemoglobin in your blood (that's the bit that carries oxygen) than oxygen so any CO in the air is readily taken up by the haemoglobin meaning that oxygen can't be.

    CO is dangerous at ridiculously low levels in a confined space like your average motorhome. For example, in a typical European built 6 metre motorhome CO levels as low as 50 parts per million (1000ppm is 1 per cent) for three hours can kill you! YES REALLY YOU WAKE UP DEAD!!!!!

    100ppm in such a confined volume will kill in about two hours, 150ppm or above and you have a life expectancy of less than one hour!

    First three symptoms are headache, nausea and tiredness.

    Fourth symptom is DEATH!

    My apologies if this is a bit melodramatic for some but CO is lethal in tiny quantities, even if my figures are out by a factor of 1000 it will still kill you at 1% in a very short time!

    CO is odourless, colourless and tasteless, it has about the same density as air so at the same temperature will just float about but as it will only ever occur in a motorhome as a result of combustion it will be warmer than the surrounding air and therefore slightly lighter so will rise.

    Hope this helps to clarify some of othe detail, D.
     
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  4. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    CO2 will kill you quicker under certain conditions. If you get a lung full, it's heavy, your lungs cannot get rid of it and you suffocate in about 90 seconds. So never use a CO2 extinguisher in a MH.
     
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  5. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    in other words...dont inhale fizzy drinks, they're full of the stuff.

    but then, you will drown first :Laughing:
     
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  6. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    I know someone who did, pull the tab and drink/inhale, he keeled over and that let the CO2 escape. He said it was terrible, just could not breath.

    A keen biker, loved track days but that was the closest he got to death.
     
  7. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    Yes Brian you are quite correct CO2 can kill you but it is by asphyxiation not poisoning and the human body is generally more tollerant of CO2 than it is of CO. Whilst your point is perfectly valid I fail to see its relevance in this thread.

    D.
     
  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    It's really quite simple, Old Mo talks about "Carbonoxide Poisoning", you correct him by telling him he's talking about Carbon Monoxide and " it is carbon MONoxide that is dangerous".

    I add that CO2 can kill you quicker than CO and it's quite possible people have CO2 extinguishers in their vans and could easily kill themselves with them.
     
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  9. old-mo

    old-mo Funster Extra Special Life Member

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    My appologies, Gentlemen...

    I was refering to "Carbon Monoxide".......... The silent killer...

    Which I thought were given off from gas fumes... IE cookers/fires/ovens etc...

    Thank you for your explanations.. :thumb:
     
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  10. Welsh girl

    Welsh girl Funster Life Member

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    In the 70 s I always used a paraffin heater as I had no central heating and the fumes from that used to burn my eyes but I just used to suffer it to keep warm was I endangering mine and my kids lives?
    Do paraffin heaters give off carbon monoxide fumes also?
    I was a young mum at 17 and didn't know the dangers, paraffin was used a lot in them days for heaters.
     
  11. dave newell lvs

    dave newell lvs Trader-Vehicle Services

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    A parafin heater in good order should be ok but probably frowned upon these days. Back in the early sixties my parents moved into their present bungalow which back then only had two coal fires, one in dining room and one in lounge. Dad used to set up a small parafin heater at the end of the central hallway and fifty odd years later we're all still here to talk about it. 1968 they had central heating installed running from a back boiler in the dining room, oh what comfort that was, no more ice on insides of windows in winter.

    D.
     
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  12. Sidney

    Sidney Funster

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    If there's one thing we should all look out for is campers using disposable barbecues in vans or tents or taking barbecues into their accommodation to keep them warm.

    Too many deaths through a complete lack of understanding. This happens too often. Just a few from the last year:

    6 year old girl
    14 year old girl
    22 year old man
    45 year old man
     
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