Date issued: 27 April 2022
Issued by: Dr Angie Bone, Deputy Chief Health Officer (Environment)
Issued to: Health professionals and the community
- Carbon monoxide is an odourless, colourless gas. It is a combustion product made by burning substances such as petroleum products (eg. gas, oil, kerosene, diesel, petrol), wood and tobacco.
- Very high levels of carbon monoxide can cause loss of consciousness, seizures and death.
- Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are non-specific and can be mistaken for flu-like illness or food poisoning. Symptoms may include headache, nausea and vomiting, skin flushing, muscle pain, weakness, shortness of breath, dizziness, coordination difficulties, confusion, or chest pain.
- Sources of carbon monoxide may include:
- gas heaters
- wood fired heaters and decorative gas log fires
- gas cooking appliances
- barbecues, heat beads, and patio heaters
- indoor hot water services
- portable power generators
- car exhausts
- Any gas appliance can become faulty. Energy Safe Victoria recommends that all gas heaters are serviced and tested at least once every two years by a licensed or registered gasfitter. Refer to the Energy Safe Victoria’s safety alert list for models of open-flued gas heaters that should be checked by a qualified gas fitter immediately.
- Medical professionals should be aware of symptoms that could suggest carbon monoxide poisoning and follow the recommendations in this Advisory.
Read the full advisory: Carbon monoxide poisoning.