Just today in my national newspaper I read that two people died in my city due to suffocation. The reason is that they used bio briquette to heat the room and left it burning for the night. This isn’t the only accident we have heard, many such accidents have happened in winter. The temperature in winter in Nepal can go below up to -2º Celsius.
People use heaters, coals, briquettes to heat the room and forget to put it down. They may also intentionally keep it burning to heat the room, but the major fault is not have proper ventilation. The problem is not only limited in suffocation, sometimes they may cause fire also buy contact with any flammable objects and materials. The main cause of people dying is Carbon monoxide(CO) poisoning whose cause may be mistake and ignorance in some cases
Nepal has severe problem of electricity and fuel crisis so people don’t use electrical heaters and gas heaters that much. So the bio briquette and charcoal is taking place. At first people heard that smoke from coal or wood and other organic materials is harmful to lungs and our body so the briquette is now taking place. The briquettes don’t produce visible smoke so people think that it is smokeless and harmless but there is a hidden very poisonous gas in it which works in shadows. That is known as Carbon monoxide(CO) poisoning. It is true that there is no smoke in this so the lungs will be protected from smoke and soot but the real poison that can kill is still there.The thing doesn’t end in coal, briquette but using gas heaters for long term can also cause harmful results.
Actually the limit is 100 ppm where head ache starts and at 12800 ppm the subject can die within 3 minutes. This type of consumption takes place when people use it in their rooms for a very long time like for a whole night. Using gas heaters or the things that burn is also very lethal. The burning process uses oxygen and if such apparatus are used in confined place with less ventilation the amount of oxygen decreases and the amount of CO & CO2 increases which can cause suffocation, poisoning and even death easily.The poisoning can cause head ache, nausea, hallucination, memory loss, depression, irritation, confusion. More exposure can cause heart diseases and even shortening of life span which is too much serious
The antidote for CO is the most important gas “Oxygen”. It helps to remove CO from our blood. As for precautions the exposure to these flammable heaters and other sources should be reduced. The vehicles must be regularly checked for their health.
The briquettes, coal and gas heaters should not be kept inside room for long time and if possible Carbon monoxide detectors should be used in buildings to
take better steps.