Carbon monoxide poisoning: Recognizing, preventing the invisible killer

By Gino C. Bottino, M.D.

Whether you own a powerboat or sailboat or just drive a car, you should be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and know how to detect and treat it.

Silent, odorless, invisible and deadly

Difficult to detect, carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that’s heavier than air. It’s made whenever carbon-based fuels are burned, such as in internal combustion engines like gasoline-powered generators and car and boat engines. Although diesel-fueled engines produce CO in smaller concentrations than gasoline engines, they still produce enough to be dangerous.

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