Is it even possible to get carbon dioxide poisoning? Yes, it is possible. Though we are exposed to carbon dioxide every time we breathe, the level is in amounts the body can handle. The air we breathe has carbon dioxide levels that are not toxic to the body. Even when added to beverages for carbonation purposes, the amounts are safe.
Note that there is a difference between carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Carbon monoxide is a result of combustion and is very toxic compared to carbon dioxide. Both have carbon and oxygen, but the amounts of oxygen vary.
Carbon dioxide poisoning
Carbon dioxide poisoning is possible when inhaled in large quantities. Too much carbon dioxide causes anoxia or asphyxiation. When too much carbon dioxide inhalation and reduced oxygen intake, it results in decreased concentration. Oxygen is essential to life and to the proper function of all body organs. Therefore, when there is too much carbon dioxide intake, it will result in carbon dioxide poisoning.
If working in an industry that has carbon dioxide as a product or as a waste material, care needs to be taken to avoid carbon dioxide poisoning. There needs to be ways to detect the amounts of carbon dioxide so that when it is beyond the safe levels, an alert is raised. Another potential source of high levels of carbon dioxide is dry ice. Dry ice is a solid form of carbon dioxide. Where dry ice is present or being used, there needs to carbon dioxide detection mechanism.
One of the reasons the carbon dioxide is very dangerous is because it is heavier than the safer gases in the air. This means carbon dioxide will be concentrated at the lower heights because it will displace the other gases including oxygen. As the levels of concentration of carbon dioxide keep rising, people will start to experience carbon dioxide intoxication. If there is no mechanism for carbon dioxide detection, it will lead to poisoning and even death. Hypercapnia and hypercarbia conditions are caused by increased carbon dioxide levels in the blood and tissues.
Carbon dioxide poisoning treatment
If someone is experiencing carbon dioxide poisoning or intoxication, treatment is very easy. The person needs to be supplied with sufficient oxygen to reduce the levels of carbon dioxide to normal concentrations in the body. With mild carbon dioxide intoxication, a person just needs to breathe the normal air. If the degree of intoxication is high, a medical professional needs to be alerted so that they can administer proper medical treatment.
The best treatment is always to prevention. One way is to know the symptoms of carbon dioxide intoxication and poisoning. However, it may be difficult to monitor this. The best solution is to use a carbon dioxide sensor to measure the levels of carbon dioxide in the air. Use of a carbon dioxide sensor is very efficient, especially in a busy working environment such as industries. Therefore, if you are in an industry that uses or produces carbon dioxide, ensure there are carbon dioxide detection mechanisms in place.