Causes of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

By Larry A. Tawwater on January 30, 2018

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced when natural gas burns. People are most often exposed to CO when they are near combustion engines, which are commonly found in vehicles and appliances. Though small amounts of CO may be released in the air, the gas is really only a threat when large amounts escape, often due to a leak or malfunction. Overexposure can result in carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide poisoning can result in serious harm, including brain damage, seizures, comas, or even death. There are many third-parties that may be responsible for carbon monoxide poisoning, including property owners, business owners, and product manufacturers. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Tawwater Law Firm, PLLC, understand the most common causes of carbon monoxide poisoning and can represent clients from the Oklahoma City, OK-area, who have suffered an illness as a result of third-party negligence.

Carbon monoxide detector

Malfunctioning Appliances

The leading cause of carbon monoxide poisoning is malfunctioning appliances. If an appliance is properly cared for and regularly serviced as needed, the amount of CO it releases into the air should be negligible. However, if an appliance is older, or is not serviced regularly, the risk of a malfunction and a carbon monoxide leak increases. When service negligence leads to a leak and carbon monoxide poisoning, the owner of the property or business that is responsible for maintaining the appliance may be held liable for any resulting damages.

Product malfunctions are also a frequent cause of carbon monoxide poisoning. Even if an appliance is newer, or has been properly maintained, a faulty part can lead to a CO leak. When a defective product causes a leak that results in carbon monoxide poisoning, the manufacturer may be held liable for any damages.

Poor Ventilation

It should be expected that a combustion engine will emit some amount of carbon monoxide as exhaust. To prevent CO gasses from building up to a dangerous level, it is important to keep vehicles and buildings well ventilated. A car that is poorly ventilated can quickly accumulate dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Similarly, if a building has a fireplace and the flue and chimney are obstructed, carbon monoxide gasses can get trapped inside and cause poisoning. In situations such as these, the manufacturer of the car, or the property owner, may be responsible for any damages caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.

Cleaners or Paint Removers

Though most carbon monoxide comes from combustion engines, the fumes from certain cleaners or paint removers can also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. The risk of carbon monoxide poisoning is especially high if these products are mislabeled, fail to adequately warn, are improperly used, or if they are used in areas with poor ventilation. Depending on the circumstances, a third-party, such as a property owner or product manufacturer, may be responsible for carbon monoxide poisoning from cleaner fumes.

Learn More

If you or a loved one have suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning, you may be due financial compensation for your losses. Contact us at your earliest convenience to set up a consultation with the experienced attorneys at Tawwater Law Firm, PLLC. We will listen to the details of your case and advise you of your legal rights. We look forward to hearing from you!

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