Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs after enough inhalation of carbon monoxide (CO). It is a toxic gas but is colorless, odorless, tasteless and generally non-irritating. It is extremely hard to detect.
Carbon monoxide is produced by older motor vehicles, gasoline-powered tools, heaters, generators, fireplaces, and cooking equipment.
Symptoms of mild poisoning include lightheadedness, confusion, headaches, vertigo (dizziness), and flu-like symptoms. Larger exposures can lead to significant toxicity of the central nervous system and heart, and even death.
To help prevent the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning, you should install detectors in your home. These devices, which are relatively inexpensive and widely available, are either battery- or AC-powered, with or without battery backup.