PDA

View Full Version : O.T. carbon monoxide poisoning - something everyone should read.



A.K. Boomer
07-03-2014, 07:49 AM
Lately been seeing commercials on a subject Iv never really thought a whole lot about, dieing on an open air boat from C.O. poisoning, It's that time of the year again and this is worth bringing up as now that iv seen these warnings it makes me think back to things like water skiing and such to where either setting up to get towed or getting back on the boat or whatever iv caught a full dose of exhaust and all engines can be lethal - inboard, inboard/outboard and outboard...

I seem to recall having bubbles come to the surface right in front of my face from an outboard ski boat and then all the sudden your hit with 100% exhaust fumes, so potent they make your eyes water,

they are saying two full breaths of that stuff can kill you... in fact in the commercial they are airing they had a parent talking about just this type of incident that took their daughters life, one second she was totally fine having fun then the next second she's gone.

many ways it can happen too even traveling at high rates of speed and being on the boat - called the "station wagon effect"

see video, this is a company that makes an exhaust system that eliminates up to 90% of C.O. backdraft...

http://www.carbonmonoxidekills.com/60/Carbon-Monoxide-Advice-|-Boating-and-Boat-Safety


personally - I like these stickers on this site, http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/carbon_monoxide.aspx
I think if I were a boat owner id have them on the back - on the back facing forward and maybe even on the sides at the back, it's something that escapes many of us due to thinking that because it's in "open air" it can't harm you and this is rubbish - it's accumulative, and it does not take much, heck of a place to put a seat way at the back esp. with some of the cabin cruisers and could be a lethal choice...

boslab
07-03-2014, 03:32 PM
Death from CO is common, heating boilers with faulty flues have claimed the lives of dozens of folk and children in the UK This year alone, the CO has about 14 times the attraction with haemoglobin than oxygen, bad news, thats how it kills with the windows open.
Steel plants and blast furnaces make it and use it as fuel, i have lost several colleagues to it, 2 last year took a flange plate off while on a cherry picker and were dead by the time it was lowered to the ground.
It is an interesting gas to get killed by, you drop like a sack of ****e, the muscles in your body stop working, unfortunately it is a while before you pass out, you are aware of whats going on while you die.
They used to stick us in gas holders with a BA on as training, unpleasant.
Gas monitors are set for 80 ppm but i have worked in 400 ppm for several hours,
First symptoms headache, neck pain and stiffness.
Quick test, prick finger, squeeze blood, it will be scarlet to cooked lobster orange, treatment pure O2, welding bottles are fine, have saved a few that way.
Read the article, its dangerous stuff
Mark

IdahoJim
07-03-2014, 06:21 PM
Lately been seeing commercials on a subject Iv never really thought a whole lot about, dieing on an open air boat from C.O. poisoning, It's that time of the year again and this is worth bringing up as now that iv seen these warnings it makes me think back to things like water skiing and such to where either setting up to get towed or getting back on the boat or whatever iv caught a full dose of exhaust and all engines can be lethal - inboard, inboard/outboard and outboard...

I seem to recall having bubbles come to the surface right in front of my face from an outboard ski boat and then all the sudden your hit with 100% exhaust fumes, so potent they make your eyes water,

they are saying two full breaths of that stuff can kill you... in fact in the commercial they are airing they had a parent talking about just this type of incident that took their daughters life, one second she was totally fine having fun then the next second she's gone.

many ways it can happen too even traveling at high rates of speed and being on the boat - called the "station wagon effect"

see video, this is a company that makes an exhaust system that eliminates up to 90% of C.O. backdraft...

http://www.carbonmonoxidekills.com/60/Carbon-Monoxide-Advice-|-Boating-and-Boat-Safety


personally - I like these stickers on this site, http://www.uscgboating.org/safety/carbon_monoxide.aspx
I think if I were a boat owner id have them on the back - on the back facing forward and maybe even on the sides at the back, it's something that escapes many of us due to thinking that because it's in "open air" it can't harm you and this is rubbish - it's accumulative, and it does not take much, heck of a place to put a seat way at the back esp. with some of the cabin cruisers and could be a lethal choice...
Scariest thing with the exhaust fumes is you may get a lethal dose and not know it until 15 minutes later. I got a bad dose of fumes from working with a 2-stroke rock drill in an enclosed place. This was 3 years ago. Didn't know what happened until 30 minutes later when the full effects hit me. Almost passed out. Nurse said I was about one breath from being dead. CO is really bad stuff, and mostly ignored.
Jim

PStechPaul
07-03-2014, 06:57 PM
If the engine exhaust has a lot of CO, rather than CO2, it's not running as efficiently as it could. It is incomplete combustion, and ideally that should be corrected to eliminate the source. This is another reason for converting vehicles and power tools to electric. It's possible to make a generator/battery charger very efficient and clean, especially compared with a small, cheap ICE running at variable torque, RPM, and power. Plus, unless you really enjoy the roar and putt-putt noises of an ICE, I think it is more relaxing (and easier on the ears, nose, and eyes) to listen to the barely audible whine of an electric motor with no chemical pollutants, so instead you can smell the sewage that people are dumping in the water... :rolleyes:

Perhaps you can attach a CO detector to your life jacket or at least where you are sitting or working. There is some info in the same source:
http://www.carbonmonoxidekills.com/19/Carbon_Monoxide_Detector_Placement

boslab
07-03-2014, 07:57 PM
Im not sure about this but the safety department stopped contractors using petrol engined generators and compressors around the works, only diesel units were permitted due to exhausts from petrol getting sucked into compressors where the compressed air was being used to run airstream helmets common with the steelwork sandblasting guys, they were ending up keeling over and falling off scafholding!
What it said was that diesels were safer?, something i haven't checked on but am dubious about, must be some in it.
We used to have to go and do enclosed space gas testing in the lab, inside vessels and pipes with a Draeger gas tester, CO, Oxy and Fuel gasses, if it was a big job every 6 hours with a gas syringe and push the gas through a perkin elmer gas chromatograph.
You cant smell the stuff either, you can walk straight into a cloud of it in the open, that happened to me, legs turned to jelly and im on the floor, could just about shove my BA over my face, only just, failed to pull the straps tight but lights out by then, awoke in the ambulance room with a hangover from hell breathing pure O2 some half an hour later, my gas monitor went off as i hit the ground out in the open, i had wandered straight into a big cloud of pure CO.
Joys of blast furnaces i suppose, i am uncertain of the amount coming out of an outboard motor, if its there and you breathe it your going to get a monster headache even if it doesn't kill you.
Classic suicide method of hose up the exhaust, just don't use a diesel, you just get dirty!
Mark

A.K. Boomer
07-03-2014, 08:58 PM
You guys all bring up some good points and first off is IdahoJim talking about two strokes and then PStechPaul talking about inefficiency being a big contributing factor, and two strokes and inefficiencies go together due to them having to throw some of the baby out with the bath water every time they go to get rid of an exhaust stroke, some raw intake goes with it,

I had heard the two stroke outboard motor exhaust bubbles are the most lethal as they can surface and be extremely concentrated...

Boslab I used to rebuild many rabbit diesel engines for the guys out at the local mine,,, they would chop the top off the cars and just run them right down in there without a bother... just another clue as to why diesels are so efficient... that much compression and a good oxygen charge and not much remains unburnt...

I was working back in Michigan where I grew up - think I was 17 at the time, was winter and we just pulled a big old boat in the garage I was wrenching at - was so cold we shut the door as soon as the car's went through and would just line it up on the floor hoist and then shut er down, well this old boat was too low and hung up on one of the plates - no big deal just a few back and forth and got it free and shut off and lifted, didn't think nothing of it, I was replacing a muffler, hammering away with a dead blow while luckily the customer was watching,,, that's the last thing I remember, they got me outside and I came too, little headache but nothing too terrible that I can remember,,, cust. said he seen me stop hammering and take a few steps sideways and fall right onto a snowmobile's seat, lucky there too,,,
cust. did not feel any of the effects because he was not breathing hard, I was from swinging the hammer like crazy...

flylo
07-04-2014, 10:41 AM
I did almost the same thing cutting a hole in the basement floor with a gas concrete saw. I felt fine until I started up the stairs & couldn't make it.


Scariest thing with the exhaust fumes is you may get a lethal dose and not know it until 15 minutes later. I got a bad dose of fumes from working with a 2-stroke rock drill in an enclosed place. This was 3 years ago. Didn't know what happened until 30 minutes later when the full effects hit me. Almost passed out. Nurse said I was about one breath from being dead. CO is really bad stuff, and mostly ignored.
Jim

fixerup
07-04-2014, 12:47 PM
Not a work related incident but still a Co2 poisoning. My house furnace has galvanized exhaust chimney that was getting some condensation on it every now and then. I though my chimney liner had a hole, so , I took everything off the bottom section, no hole, climbed the ladder and took the chimney cap off and no holes there. Called the furnace expert and without even looking at anything he had a quote in his hand for $900 to replace the liner, I sent him home. Called a second expert and after 15 minutes of diagnosis, he told me my boiler was not well suited for the house and I needed a new boiler, sent him home.
I had never seen this condensation problem previous years, what has changed??? Aaawh! the light bulb came on.
My wife does a lot of stir fries and last summer she wanted the highest cfm exhaust fan possible, so, being a good husband I installed a 750cfm exhaust fan and that was the problem. It would create a backdraft in the chimney and then when the boiler would start, it was not able to change the flue direction and spill CO2 exhaust in the house. No wonder we were getting headaches and blurry vision every now and then. The solution was to install a draft inducer fan in the exhaust pipe ($175) and the problem is solved. I also installed a CO2 monitor which I should have done from the beginning . We learn!
So watch for CO2 leaks, some of the new kitchen exhaust fans are up to 1000cfm, they will suck air from any opening in the house.

Phil

A.K. Boomer
07-04-2014, 12:50 PM
Awesome post, it's the little things that get cha....

normally would not have thought of that either thanks for sharing...

dp
07-04-2014, 01:01 PM
This is a big problem for wake surfers and when being towed on inner tubes, etc., slowly in the wake of boats. It is also a problem when motoring downwind - you ride in your own cloud of carbon monoxide.

IdahoJim
07-04-2014, 01:25 PM
About 30 years ago, I was staying with a friend near Moscow, Idaho. He had a basement apartment. His wife told me her brother died in the bedroom of that apartment. Ostensibly of a drug overdose. That was about 4 years before I stayed there. One morning I got up and could just barely make it to the shower. Bad headache, and weak as a cat. I passed it off as bottle flu....LOL, but mentioned it to my buddy. He and his wife were both pilots, and, a few weeks after I left they decided to put some CO detection strips down there. Sure enough, after a couple of weeks the strips indicated CO. Found out the furnace exhaust, at one particular wind direction, didn't work.
They are now divorced, but as long as I knew here, she maintained her brother died from drugs. I'd bet he got CO'd. I'm lucky it wasn't me.
Jim

A.K. Boomer
07-04-2014, 01:44 PM
Geeze - nice of them to do the test AFTER YOU LEFT

flylo
07-04-2014, 06:52 PM
Best part of cutting the floor in the basement was I found a metal box under the slab. I thought treasure, my wife thought dead body. I opened it & it was a brick lined box with 2 pipes running up on an angle. Took a bit of research but turned out to be a carbide generator. I should have known as all the lights are plumbed for gas, we live 3 miles from town & still don't have gas so I know they didn't in the 1880s. When they put in electricity they used the gas pipe for conduit.

IdahoJim
07-04-2014, 10:32 PM
Geeze - nice of them to do the test AFTER YOU LEFT
LOL...yup....though I was only there for a couple of days. Those test strips may not have shown any CO if the wind wasn't blowing the wrong way. As I recall, he told me it took a couple of weeks to see a bad color on the strips. So, it didn't happen often. I don't remember, but maybe another friend got sick, and that prompted them to put the strips down there.
Jim

BigBoy1
07-05-2014, 10:11 AM
Many years ago when I was working my way through college, I had a summer job in a paper plant's shipping department. I would wrap rolls of printed paper for shipment. The forklift trucks were constantly going by, dropping loads and picking up loads. Back then, they were gasoline power trucks. After every shift I would come home with a splitting headache and I figured it was from the CO. I opened the windows behind where I was working for fresh air but management got all up set because I was letting insects into the factory and they would get into the finished product, so they welded the windows closed. I complained to the company nurse who told me to take some aspirin and I was just a "college boy" not use to hard work. I complained to the union but since I was just a "summer hire", I was totally ignored. There was a quote for number of rolls of paper wrapped for each shift which we were suppose to meet but after they welded the windows shut, I was talking a break outside every hour to try to clean out my lungs. I never met quote. Lucky the job ended before they fired me!

Several years later I heard via the grapevine that the company had installed a closed area and exhaust fans in the packing area. Finally someone in management "figured it out."

Forestgnome
07-05-2014, 10:33 AM
Here's a pretty good explanation of the problems:
http://www.safetyresearch.net/safety-issues/carbon_monoxide/

michigan doug
07-05-2014, 11:05 AM
Treacherous stuff.

And just to clear a point up, the poisonous stuff is CO, not CO2.

If you're immersed in pure CO2, that will kill you too. Not because it's toxic, but because it's not oxygen.

doug

tlfamm
07-05-2014, 04:58 PM
Another potential source of the chimney "backdraft" mentioned earlier is a whole-house fan. Such is not typically operated during the heating season, but if you produce hot water via combustion, then fan-induced negative chimney pressure is possible during warmer months.

I rely on a closed basement door to separate our oil-fired boiler from the effects of our whole-house fan. But maybe it's time for a CO detector ...

PStechPaul
07-05-2014, 05:39 PM
I heat with wood, mostly, supplemented by baseboard electric and sometimes an unvented kerosene heater. My house is still not well sealed so there is still enough fresh air coming in to to allow good draft for the woodstove and to keep the O2/CO2 level safe. I have a CO detector that I have between the stove and the bedroom upstairs, and hopefully that will catch any dangerous levels that might escape, especially when it is just smoldering ashes. Sometimes when I clean out the stove after a night's burn, there are still a lot of burning (glowing) coals that continue to stay hot for as long as a day or so when they are buried under a lot of ashes in the coal scuttle. When I'm loading the stove and poking the wood to maintain the fire, I know that I may be breathing the gases from the embers, so I try to take them outside where they cool quickly, or I may dump some water on them.

I don't use the kerosene heaters often, and usually it's in the kitchen which is opposite the bedroom. It seems that such unvented heaters (kerosene and propane) do not emit very much CO and the main problem in confined, sealed areas is oxygen depletion. So I wonder if it would be possible to use a Sterling (or steam) heat engine and.or thermoelectric modules to generate electricity without using an ICE generator, which is a well-known source of deadly levels of CO. I think all of these are only maybe 5% to 15% efficient, compared to 20-25% for a gasoline powered ICE, but if you need the heat, running such devices indoors makes them essentially 100% efficient (or maybe 80% for a wood stove, but that's using biomass directly, whereas for gasoline, kerosene, and propane, you really need to factor in the energy costs of extraction, refining, and delivery.

Black_Moons
07-05-2014, 10:35 PM
CO2 is also toxic, but you feel its effect as you feel suffocated like you have been holding your breath for too long.

Remember, you don't detect lack of oxygen, you detect excess CO2. So CO/Argon/any gas that is not oxygen will kill you very easily, CO2 is very hard to die from because you will notice it, CO can kill you easier then any other gas as it will bind with your blood over oxygen and kill you even at very low %

Diesels likely produce less CO/unburnt hydrocarbons because except at full throttle, they run lean since they run with no air restriction but limited fuel injection. They are NOT safe and most likely will output lots of CO at full throttle, especially before the catalytic converter in the exhaust pipe warms up.

PStechPaul
07-06-2014, 12:04 AM
CO2 can be tolerated at 100 times or more of standard atmospheric concentration. Mostly it causes increased respiratory activity to get enough O2.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_poisoning (hypercapnia)

The reverse is also problematic, as the brain uses the level of dissolved CO2 in the blood to regulate breathing. This is called hypocapnia and is essentially what happens from hyperventilation:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypocapnia

Oxygen is also toxic in elevated concentrations, although there may be some benefits from hyperbaric therapy (and "oxygen bars"):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxygen_toxicity

There are oxygen sensors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxygen_sensor)and CO2 sensors (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_dioxide_sensor). I'm not sure what is actually used in propane heaters, but it would make sense to use an oxygen sensor because just 40% of normal oxygen level can be lethal, while CO2 levels must be extremely high to be dangerous.