Carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms will mainly depend on the carbon monoxide levels or concentration in the air.

The higher the levels, the worst the risks.

Besides the levels, the symptoms and the risks also depend on the exposure time.

The longer the exposure time, the worst the risks.

These two variables will determine the concentration of carboxyhemoglobin or COHb in your blood.

So, when you hear a carbon monoxide detector beeping in your office or workplace, watch the CO ppm levels.

Then read the carbon monoxide levels chart to know the symptoms and the associated risk.

Carbon Monoxide Levels and their Risks

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Organization (OSHA), here the CO levels, exposure time, and their symptoms:

50 ppm: the maximum allowable concentration for continuous exposure for healthy adults in any 8-hour period.

200 ppm: slight headache, fatigue, dizziness, nausea after 2-3 hours.

400 ppm: frontal headache within 1-2 hours. Life-threatening after three hours.

800 ppm: dizziness, nausea, comvulsions within 45 minutes. Unconsciousness within two hours. Fatal after 2-3 hours.

1,600 ppm: Headache, dizziness, and nausea within 20 minutes. Fatal within one hour.

3,200 ppm: Headache, dizziness, and nausea within 5-10 minutes. Fatal within 25-30 minutes.

6,400 ppm: Headache, dizziness, and nausea within 1-2 minutes. Fatal within 10-15 minutes.

12,800 ppm: Fatal within 1-3 minutes.

Take Action Quickly is the Key

Having a good understanding of the CO levels and their risks is not enough.

The most important thing is to take action quickly when you know there are abnormal CO levels in your office or workplace.

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I recommend you to carry out an emergency drill against abnormal carbon monoxide concentration to make you ready at any time.