Signs of Carbon Monoxide Exposure

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that is the number one cause of unintentional poisoning in the United States. Individuals exposed to such gas leaks can be killed or left with life-time injuries because carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms are not always recognized.

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The signs of carbon monoxide poisoning may be mistaken for a generalized illness, causing early symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Light Headedness
  • Flu-Like Symptoms

In many cases, carbon monoxide leaks may be caused by the negligence of another person or corporation. The carbon monoxide lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. review potential claims for individuals throughout the United States who have experienced serious carbon monoxide injuries. Request a free consultation and claim evaluation.


Exposure to carbon monoxide leaks are often referred to as a “silent killer” because the symptoms of CO poisoning are so difficult to detect. Therefore, the risk of serious injury or death is high because warning signs are often missed.

Approximately 500 carbon monoxide deaths occur each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In addition, approximately 15,000 people are treated in emergency rooms throughout the United States each year after determining that they have been exposed to a carbon monoxide leak or experienced CO poisoning symptoms.

Many individuals who survive carbon monoxide exposure are left with permanent brain damage due to the lack of oxygen that reaches the brain while they are exposed. The inhalation of CO gas may interfere with the body’s ability to supply oxygen to the brain and other vital organs. This may result in:

  • Brain Damage
  • Coma
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Lack of Energy or Focus
  • Heart Problems
  • Suffocation
  • Death


Carbon monoxide exposure symptoms can begin at low levels of exposure, as low as 35 parts per million can begin to cause people to suffer headaches from hours of exposure. As the levels rise, sometimes the symptoms of fatigue and nausea are mistaken for flu-like symptoms. This can often lead to carbon monoxide poisoning misdiagnosis. Even doctors can have trouble making a carbon monoxide poisoning diagnosis.

Experts say two sure signs that carbon monoxide may be at play is when multiple people in the same building begin to experience similar symptoms at the same time. Another sign is that the symptoms seem to disappear or lessen when the person leaves a certain area and gets fresh air. However, the most certain and approved means of detection is through a carbon monoxide detector and alarm, which in many places are required by law for rental homes and some businesses.


In many cases, exposure to carbon monoxide gas may be caused by faulty appliances, unvented fuel-powered heaters, clogged chimneys, blocked exhaust vents or other issues that may have been detected if proper inspections, maintenance or repairs had occurred.

The use of a carbon monoxide detector is one of the best ways to reduce the risks associated with exposure to the gas and allow individuals to discover the leak before recognizing any carbon monoxide exposure symptoms. However, in some cases a CO detector may have been improperly installed or not present at all.

Through a carbon monoxide leak lawsuit, financial compensation may be available if responsibility for the exposure can be linked to the negligence of a landlord, property owner, builder, contractor or service company.

The lawyers at Saiontz & Kirk, P.A. investigate potential cases for individuals throughout the United States who have experienced serious medical problems from carbon monoxide exposure, which may have been caused by the negligence of another person or corporation. All cases are pursued on a contingency fee basis, which means that there are no out-of-pocket expenses to hire our law firm and there are no attorney fees unless a recovery is obtained for a carbon monoxide injury.