Maximum exposure allowed by OSHA in the workplace over an eight hour period.
Mild headache, fatigue, nausea and dizziness.
Serious headache-other symptoms intensify. Life threatening after 3 hours.
45 minutes Dizziness, nausea and convulsions. Unconscious within 2 hours. Death within 2-3 hours.
20 minutes 5-10
minutes Table 6.1 Effect of carbon monoxide exposure
It is important to establish that monoxide concentration is high enough as periods of time spent in sub-lethal gas levels can lead to serious irreparable damage. From the accompanying table (Table 6.1) it is clear that although death will occur at much lower levels, if one is in the environment for some time, it is strongly recommended that concentrations greater than 1% (10,000 ppm) are generated by the method chosen.
There are often no specific clinical findings to identify this agent as the cause of death, although occasionally the red colouration of ‘venous’ blood gives a flushed pink colour to the skin of the corpse. This colouration may indicate the cause of death to an examining doctor and its presence will be detected at autopsy. If it is important that the death look ‘natural’ (and ‘suicide’ not be stated on the death certificate), then poisoning by carbon monoxide may not be the best choice.
Headache, dizziness and nausea. Death within 1 hour. Headache, dizziness and nausea. Death within 1 hour.
Headache, dizziness and nausea. Death within 25-30 minutes. Rapid Death