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13 April 2012

10 quick facts on gas poisoning

Here are 10 facts on gas poisoning and what you can do to help those who have been affected.

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Nearly 1 000 people have been evacuated from a building in the Randburg CBD following a gas leak, according to Netcare 911. Know what to do in the case of toxic gas inhalation.

10 quick facts on gas poisoning:

  • Gas poisoning should always be taken extremely seriously -- depending on the gas and level of exposure, it could be fatal.
  • Poisoning can be divided into four types: swallowed poisons, inhaled poisons, absorbed poisons (through the skin or mucous membranes), and injected poisons.
  • The most common sources of inhaled poisons are gas used for heating and carbon monoxide.
  • Keep in mind that although some toxic gases have an odour, others like carbon monoxide do not.
  • Symptoms of inhaled poisons may include irritated eyes, nose, throat or lungs, coughing, headache, shortness of breath, or dizziness.
  • If you suspect the above symptoms may be associated with gas inhalation, get the affected person away from the source of the exposure, and outside into fresh air immediately. Call for medical help without delay.
  • Call emergency medical services immediately if the person is unconscious.
  • Once you have called an ambulance, immediately begin CPR if the person is unconscious and not breathing.
  • In factories, appropriate safety measures (masks, fans, warning systems) should be used to protect workers.
  • Regular inspection of equipment is essential in order to avoid accidents.

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