Inhaling cooking gas is bad for you? In excess, intoxication can kill you

 Inhaling cooking gas is bad for you? In excess, intoxication can kill you

Lena Fisher

From time to time, there are news reports of victims of carbon monoxide poisoning. Inhaling cooking gas, whether piped or not, is dangerous and can kill, depending on the time of exposure and the amount of substance ingested. Below, learn how poisoning acts in the body, what the most common situations are, and what to do.

See also: Risks of creoline in contact with skin are serious; find out which ones

Why inhaling cooking gas can be fatal?

Carbon monoxide (CO), present in gas cylinders and piped gas, has no smell, but is highly flammable and toxic. These characteristics make the substance a chemical asphyxiant, that is, in contact with the body, it binds to the hemoglobin molecules in the blood, which are responsible for transporting oxygen and other nutrients.

Thus, when there is a large amount of CO in the blood, the body cannot process enough oxygen and the person suffers intoxication, which can be mild or deadly. The picture will depend on the time of contact with the substance and the amount of CO inhaled.

Symptoms of cooking gas poisoning

Mild intoxication can cause mild shortness of breath, headaches, drowsiness, nausea, and vomiting; however, severe exposure leads to mental confusion, severe shortness of breath, chest pain, convulsions, loss of consciousness, and ultimately coma and death if there is no help.

Common situations and how to avoid them

Although it is dangerous, poisoning from inhaling gas from cooking and other sources is more common than we think. After all, it can occur due to a leak, improper ventilation of automobiles, kerosene or gas heaters or electric showers.

Another situation is to stay inside a car with the engine running in a space with no ventilation. Unfortunately, many people commit suicide this way, because inhaling the gas does not usually cause a painful death. Being close to fires can also compromise the respiratory system, so it is recommended:

  • Do regular plumbing system maintenance if you have a furnace, shower, or gas heating.
  • Keep the valve of the gas cylinder always closed after use.
  • Get out of an environment containing a gas leak as quickly as possible.
  • Install proper ventilation systems in homes and other living spaces.
  • Place carbon monoxide detectors to signal possible leaks.
  • Do not leave children and people who are unable to leave a fire or gas infestation site unattended.

First aid when inhaling gas from cooking and other sources

At first, mild cases of carbon monoxide exposure usually improve spontaneously by leaving the scene and getting fresh air. It may take a few minutes for the person to recover. Then, if there is an ambulance or first aid, the medical staff can offer an oxygen mask to speed up the release of the CO.

On the other hand, severe conditions, in which the victim is unconscious or having convulsions, require supplemental or hyperbaric oxygen, because the body needs to eliminate the substance immediately. According to the individual's condition, hospitalization may be necessary to assess whether carbon monoxide has harmed the lungs, heart, and other vital organs.

References: MSD Manuals; and Mayo Clinic.

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Lena Fisher

Lena Fisher is a wellness enthusiast, certified nutritionist, and author of the popular health and well-being blog. With over a decade of experience in the field of nutrition and health coaching, Lena has dedicated her career to helping people achieve their optimal health and live their best life possible. Her passion for wellness has led her to explore various approaches to achieving overall health, including diet, exercise, and mindfulness practices. Lena's blog is a culmination of her years of research, experience, and personal journey towards finding balance and well-being. Her mission is to inspire and empower others to make positive changes in their lives and embrace a healthy lifestyle. When she's not writing or coaching clients, you can find Lena practicing yoga, hiking the trails, or experimenting with new healthy recipes in the kitchen.