Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a tasteless, odorless and colorless gas. Carbon monoxide is present when fuel is burned in engines, furnaces and open fires.  Fuels that can produce CO when burned include gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil and methane. Breathing high levels of CO causes CO poisoning, which can cause severe illness or even death is just minutes.  For this reason, CO is often referred to as an invisible killer.

 Although CO poisoning can almost always be prevented, every year over 400 deaths in the United State are estimated to occur as a result of accidental, non-fire related exposure to this toxic gas. Also, every year tens of thousands more people across the United States require emergency medical care for illness caused by CO poisoning. The primary risk for carbon monoxide poisoning comes from home and garage operation of gas generators and malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances such as home stoves, water heaters and space heaters. Operating such engines and appliances in a confined space can cause CO to accumulate to toxic concentrations very quickly. Tobacco smoke also contains carbon monoxide and smokers generally have higher concentrations of carbon monoxide in their bloodstream than non-smokers.  Combination smoke and CO detectors can alert people to the presence of CO and save lives. 

To explore carbon monoxide poisoning data, click here.


Tracking Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Louisiana

These measures were developed following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Standards for Nationally Consistent Data and Measures (NCDMs) within the Environmental Public Health Tracking Network. The purpose of NCDMs is to ensure compatibility and comparability of data and measures useful for understanding the impact of our environment on our health. The Health Data Explorer contains data on the following measures for deaths, emergency department visits, and hospitalizations with a primary diagnosis of CO poisoning:


Age-Adjusted Rate

Crude Rate

Annual Number


These data are grouped and presented in three unique categories based on cause of injury:


Unintentional, non-fire related

Unintentional, fire-related

Unknown intent


For a detailed definition of each measure, please refer to the Glossary of Terms.


Data Sources

LDH Bureau of Health Informatics

LDH State Registrar and Vital Records

United States Census Bureau


Additional Info

Please note: 3/9/23: Tracking data for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning is temporarily unavailable on LA’s Health Data Explorer. Please follow the steps below to access Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Hospitalization and Emergency Department data via the CDC Tracking Data Explorer.

Select STEP 1: Content Area: Unintentional Carbon Monoxide (CO) Poisoning , Select an Indicator and a Measure.

Select STEP 2: Geography: Select a Geography Type from the Dropdown


CDC Carbon Monoxide Poisoning 

Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry – Carbon Monoxide ToxFAQs™ 

U.S. EPA - Carbon Monoxide's Impact on Indoor Air Quality

U.S. EPA - Carbon Monoxide Pollution in Outdoor Air