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Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Exhaust Fume Pollution and How to Avoid/Handle Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Pollution is an undesirable state of the natural environment being contaminated with harmful substances as a consequence of human activities. Recent studies showed that Air pollution (which also includes carbon monoxide emission) alone kills 3.2 million people yearly, and this is more than Aids and malaria combined!

Exhaust fume pollution

By the daily activities that go on in our society especially in our urban centres, our environment is continually assaulted by all manner of pollutants especially exhaust fumes. These pollutants which translate into environmental pollution are as varied as they are harmful and you must learn how to avoid or curtail the negative health effects of these elements on your life. For example Frank Kelly, professor of environmental health at King's College, London, says that from studies made “In my view, because we all need to breathe, air pollution is second only to smoking in terms of hazards to public health.” 


Among the most common forms of environmental pollution in our environment include - Air pollution, Noise pollution, Sound pollution, Biodegradable pollution, and Water pollution, etc. Carbon monoxide (a major part of air pollution) seems by far the most deadly of these even though they are all equally destructive both to your health and the environment. Carbon monoxide (CO) which is sometimes referred to as the "silent killer" is actually an odourless and colourless (poisonous) gas. It is contained plentiful in exhaust fumes.  

Record has it that sometime in 2012 the people of Uburu, Ohaozara LGA of Ebonyi State woke up to a tragedy that left seven family members dead. Mr. Samuel Udeh lost his pregnant wife, their five children, and a ward to exhaust fumes. They made the blunder of their lives by going to sleep and leaving the power generator set badly positioned. This is not an isolated case; it is just one out of so many similar incidents that we have had across Nigeria over time, but most importantly, it underscores the deadly nature of the gas pumped into the air that we all breathe freely. Apart form the poisoning effects that is so deadly, exhaust fumes has occasionally be found to trigger the disease asthma in some people.

It is very important that we get enlightenment because obviously so many factors are involved here – including ignorance and attitudinal lax by the average citizenry. And so it is very important to understand that carbon monoxide - an odourless gas which is a major content of exhaust fumes is very poisonous. This form of air pollution perhaps poses the greatest danger not only to humans but also animal and plant life. This is because carbon emission is mainly responsible for greenhouse gases which in turn are directly responsible for ozone layer depletion and its attendant destruction on planet earth – that is on the wider scope.

Protect the Lungs from asthma attacks

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Some of the early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include: Dizziness, Dull Headaches, Nausea (a feeling of wanting to vomit). In the advanced stages of the poisoning – as your blood gets more and more polluted by this gas, you may begin to experience more serious symptoms like – Seizures, Blurred vision, Confusion and Drowsiness, Unconsciousness, Fast breathing, Shortness of breath, Chest pain, and Fast heart beat. If you are exposed to these pollutants and the attendant symptoms, experts say the issues can become as severe as the patients developing heart problems and even brain damage.

What to do
But the authorities too owe the public a great deal of responsibility because exhaust fumes from power generators, rickety vehicles on our roads, bush burning, burning of refuse, and also the wasteful practice of gas flaring are inherent dangers to the health of the average Nigerian. Also, you must on your own part ensure that you as much as possible avoid these health dangers. If from studies conducted in the UK we are told that every year in that country over 200 people go to hospital with suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, and leading to around 40 deaths, then you should know that the situation in Nigeria cannot be less than double or three times that of the UK.


Keep safe and stay alive – prevention is better than cure any day, so avoid as much as possible inhaling directly or indirectly fumes coming from generator sets, cars and other road vehicles, kerosene stoves, fire wood, etc. You must therefore avoid prolonged stay in any place that you are breathing in exhaust fumes. If you feel any symptoms or carbon monoxide poisoning however, be sure to see your doctor for immediate attention.

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