Carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of poison related deaths in many countries, including the United States. Carbon monoxide attacks the nervous system and causes respitory failure and brain damage at a surprisingly fast pace. Most people know a bit about how dangerous carbon monoxide is, but it seems like this knowledge isn’t enough to lower the amount of deaths that arise each year from carbon monoxide poisoning.
To be fair, there are quite a few of these deaths that are actually a case of carbon monoxide suicide. For years, people have used carbon monoxide suicide as an alternative to hanging and self-inflicted gunshot wounds. This seems surprising, considering that death from carbon monoxide is certainly one of the more painful and horrific ways to go out. In the old days, a carbon monoxide suicide would arise when a person closed his garage, left his car running, and then sat in his car until the fumes killed him. Often, a case of carbon monoxide suicide would involve the person running a length of hose from his exhaust pipe to his driver’s side window, letting the fumes enter directly in. He might close all the windows and leave the drivers side window just open enough to allow the hose of death to do its dirty work.
These days, however, suicide by carbon monoxide is harder to pull off. For one, the increasing technology of automobiles have made it harder to die by carbon monoxide. Before catalytic converters, as much as a quarter of exhaust fumes would contain carbon monoxide. These days, however, over ninety nine percent of CO fumes are filtered. This isn’t to say that a person still can’t die from leaving the car running in his or her garage. It would simply take quite a bit longer, and suicidal people are surprisingly stubborn when it comes to dying.
Some cultures have taken suicide by carbon monoxide to the next logical step. Many eastern countries will set up a wood burning stove or similar device that emits high amounts of carbon monoxide and then enclose it in a tent. In many cases, people form group suicide pacts and then all enter the tent together, dying one by one. While this craze hasn’t taken over the western world yet, it should be noted that this type of suicide has already claimed what may be considered one of America’s greatest treasures: Boston lead singer Brad Delp. With this information, it should be the duty of all American households to practice carbon monoxide safety. Making it a priority will give you “more of a feeling” of safety in and around your home, when you hear the alarm sound because something is “smokin”. Possibly your teen daughter “Amanda”.