Carbon Monoxide Headquarters
CO Club


February 5, 1999
I was searching your web page and found a very nice animation that I wanted to show to a class. Do you have a downloadable version of the effects of carbon monoxide. If you do it would be greatly apreciated.
Thank you very much.

Dear Ken:
Everything on the web is downloadable. You have my permission to use my animations in your class - please do. You simply put the cursor over the graphic (animation) and then click down on your mouse. A dialog box will ask you where you want to save it. Thank you for asking. If you want more information on CO to use in class, please feel free to use COHQ.
Dr. D. Penney

College Student
December 14, 1998
Dr. Penney,
My name is David and I am a senior in Human Resources at UW-Oshkosh. I had to give a problem-solution speech for a speech class. I choose carbon monoxide poisoning as my topic and I wanted to thank you for your wonderful website. A lot of my research came from your site. I also used an number of graphs and charts as overhead slides during my presentation. I cited you and your website several times during the speech.
I received 90/90 on the speech and got a lot of positive feedback from the class. This is truly an important topic and I was glad that I could educate a few people on it. I must have scared a number of people in the class, because they wanted to know where your site was and what CO detector I recommended. My professor said this was only the second speech that has ever motivated him to take some action. I believe he was sincere, because he kept me after class to ask some more questions.
Once again I would like to thank you for all your help. Please respond if you have time.

Dear David:
Thank you for your nice letter and kind comments. Thanks again.
Dr. D. Penney

Respiratory Therapy student
July 13, 1998
Dear Sir,
Could you be so kind as to answer a question? I have been told that the body produces carbon monoxide somehow through its metabolic process. Is this true? I am thinking that perhaps the person who said this is confusing it with carbon dioxide. My thanks in advance for you help.

Dear Nancy:
It is true, the body produces CO. For one, it is a breakdown product of hemoglobin. Therefore, we always have some CO in our blood, no matter how pure the air we breathe. Take a look at
Thanks for the question.
Dr. D. Penney

Home Inspector
August 30, 1998
Dr. Penney,
I teach home inspectors to perform CO monitoring during General Home Inspections. I'm always looking for new resources to upgrade my training so that I can transfer information to our network of Inspectors in the US and in Canada. Do you have courses at your location or is your virtual class your venue. I would appreciate more information. I recently discovered your website and I like what I see.

Dear Bill:
COHQ is my course on carbon monoxide. I do also speak on CO locally, nationally and internationally. Should you like a lecture/seminar on CO, I am available.
Thanks for the kind remarks.
Dr. D. Penney

Science Fair Project
August 30, 1998
Dear Dr. Penney,
My name is Devin and I am in the sixth grade. I would like to do a science fair project on CO poisoning. My dad is a physician and agrees that it is a problem. I was wondering if you could give me any pointers on experiments for this project. I have already read your work on the internet and thought it was interesting. My outline is due Sept. 17 so I would appreciate a response as soon as possible. Thank you.

Dear Devin:
Thanks for the message and comments. I believe a project on carbon monoxide would be useful too. If you have a "better" CO detector that reads out in parts per million (ppm), you might try measuring CO in places that CO is produced. For example, monitor CO in cigarette smoke, exhaust from older versus newer automobiles, etc. Whatever you do, be very careful and have an adult present to oversee the project. Remember, CO is a deadly poison. Best of luck.
Please let me know how your project progresses.
Dr. D. Penney

Student, Science Experiment
November 2, 1998
Hello Dr. Penney,
I am a student of Plum Grove of Palatine, IL. As of this moment we are engaged in a science experiment. My experiment is made to test which type of wood would produce the most CO. Unfortunately I don't know the effects of CO on the Earth. Please let me know as soon as possible.

Dear Tom:
Thank you for the message and I apologize for the delay in responding - was attending the Am. College of Surgeons meeting Florida for a week.
You ask a very interesting and important question, for which I don't have a ready answer. Which type of wood would produce the most CO? The conditions under which the burning occurs is of course very important. If you do the experiment, be very careful not to inhale any of the fumes. Please let me know what results you get. Study COHQ for answers to your other questions.
Dr. Penney

Student, Science Project
January 6, 1999
Dear Dr. Penney:
Hello, my name is Greg. I am a 9th grade student at Palisades High school. I was just looking at your web page, and found it most interesting. I am currently doing several things at school in which you could greatly help out. I am working on a Duracell battery contest in which I am looking for information on how long it would take to get CO poisoning in a tent from a space heater. The other thing I am currently working on is a Biology Project at school. The requirements for that project are to find and contact a scientists. When you write back, would you please send it regular mail, I need a signature for it to count.
Now, about the Duracell battery project, I want to build a device, and I am not sure how much CO a regular propane heater puts out. I would like to know what the maximum safe levels are in a confined space like a tent or a trailer. Also, if you could include any internet links you know of for companies that make CO detectors, that would be great.

Dear Greg:
Thank you for your message. Links to a number of CO-detector companies are included on my web pages. Be careful with CO, it is a deadly gas and can act very quickly when present in confined spaces such as tents and trailers. Maybe you could provide a few more details of what it is you want to build.
Dr. D. Penney

Is CO heavy?
January 6, 1999
Dear Sir,
Is CO lighter or heavier than air? Should my detector go close to the floor or high up? I have small children who play and sleep close to the floor (a 4 year old in a toddler bed for example). Is the toddler at more risk close to the floor? I haven't found anything on this aspect. Thank you or others for a response!

Dear Tom:
CO is only very slightly lighter than air. This fact is actually irrelevant, as CO is nearly always a minor component gas in a mixture of gases. It cannot separate from the other gases and rise - this would violate the 1st law of Thermodynamics.
The only reason a mixture of gases containing CO might rise is if they are warmer than the ambient gas (air) and thus have a lower density. That CO naturally rises to the ceiling is a common misconception.
The placement of CO detectors in a living space is another question. Usually you want the CO detector to be at head level or above, even on the ceiling, not in a remote corner, and placed near where people are living, particularly where they are sleeping. It should not be placed very close to a stove/furnace. There are other considerations and I urge you to see the directions for placement that come with most CO detectors.
Thanks for your questions.
Dr. D. Penney

CO Poisoning
January 28, 1999
Dr. Penney,
My name is Dave. I am 45 years old and by the grace of God I am here to write this note to you today. I am a victim of acute CO poisoning. It was the result of poor ventilation while working with a gasoline-powered concrete saw in my basement. I work with tools and machinery every day but was somehow not aware of the danger at hand. I believe I was very close to death and would like to do something to educate others before it happens to them or their loved ones. Do you have any suggestions on ways I may be useful in preventing others from being victims? Thank you for your time.
Dublin, Ohio
Husband, and father of 3 great boys.

Dear Dave:
Thanks for the massage. Your story is not uncommon. I have heard of 3-4 cases of CO poisoning from gasoline-powered concrete saws during the past year.
Thanks again.
Dr. D. Penney

...... last changed 02/07/99

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