The severe cold force many to buy room heaters. But doctors urge people to avoid coal-braziers and low-quality heaters that could cause carbon monoxide poisoning, if used in a closed room.
Concentration of carbon monoxide exposure level above .01% can lead to many health issues such nausea, headache, dizziness and even death.
“Burning of coal or wood produces carbon monoxide. It is a toxic gas and inhaling it for at least 30 minutes could lead to death,” said Dr Anant Mohan, additional professor, pulmonary medicine and sleep disorder, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
It is advised to switch off room heaters before sleeping.
“Normally, room heaters are safe but people should be careful about the quality of the product. They should not buy sub-standard stuff, which may emit hazardous or toxic fumes,” said Dr Suranjit Chatterjee, senior consultant, internal medicine, Indraprastha Apollo hospitals.
Three men died and another is critical after they allegedly suffocated on carbon monoxide on Sunday morning in Hauz Khas area of South Delhi. The four had allegedly lit a brazier (Angeethi) to keep themselves warm.
“Suffocation due to carbon monoxide poisoning depends on size of the room and the quality of air inside the room. Smaller the room, faster the chances of suffocation,” he added.