This is Science Today. Carbon monoxide poisoning
is particularly insidious because it's odorless
and in small doses, the symptoms resulting from
exposure are very similar to other, non life-threatening
ailments. Michael Apte, a scientist at the Lawrence
Berkeley National Laboratory who has developed personal
carbon monoxide sensors, says the symptoms often
resemble the flu.
Dizziness, nausea, disorientation, headache…so unfortunately,
when we're exposed at that level, if we go to the
doctor, we're often misdiagnosed as having the flu.
It can be a vicious cycle where people are continually
exposed for many, many, many days - entire seasons
Apte's personal sensor can be used in the residential
setting, but for now, Apte sees it more as an occupational
Public health departments, the state or federal
environmental protection agencies, scientists who
are interested in public health issues. They could
use the device to measure carbon monoxide exposures
within the workplace.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.