If you experience symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, get to fresh air immediately. Open the doors and windows, turn off any fuel-burning appliances, and leave the building. If your carbon monoxide alarm goes off, or anytime you suspect a carbon monoxide problem, call the New Mexico Gas Company Emergency Line at 888-NM-GAS-CO (888-664-2726).
Immediately call the New Mexico Poison Center — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, toll-free, at 800-222-1222. These poisoning experts will help you know if you need further medical attention.
A free newsletter, Carbon Monoxide Safety Information, is available for our customers. Print-ready (pdf) copies may be downloaded by clicking here.
What is carbon monoxide?
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible gas that is produced when any type of fuel — like natural gas, gasoline, kerosene, methane, propane, oil, coal and wood — burns incompletely because of insufficient oxygen. When it enters and builds up in your home, it can put you and others in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning.
What is carbon monoxide poisoning?
Carbon monoxide poisoning is one of the leading causes of unintentional/accidental poisoning deaths in the United States. Poisonings occur more often during the fall and winter. Breathing carbon monoxide decreases the blood’s ability to carry oxygen, cutting off oxygen to our brain, organs and cells. Breathing carbon monoxide can be life-threatening.
What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
Carbon monoxide can cause a range of symptoms, depending on how much carbon monoxide and how long you’ve been exposed. When exposed to low levels, the symptoms can be similar to the flu or cold: mild headaches, fatigue or sleepiness, shortness of breath, light headedness and nausea. While you may think you have a viral infection, symptoms that are the result of carbon monoxide will typically get better when you are away from home, more than one person in the household may develop them at the same time, they aren’t accompanied by a fever or swollen lymph nodes, and pets may also appear sick or lethargic.
Symptoms become more severe as exposure to carbon monoxide increases: dizziness, mental confusion, irritability, impaired judgment or memory, loss of coordination, severe headaches, nausea and fainting. Prolonged or high exposure can lead to organ damage, loss of consciousness and death.
For More information:
The Invisible Killer from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (pdf) in English and in Spanish.
Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning — Information for Older Adults and Their Caregivers from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (pdf) in English.