A Canary in a Coal Mine Natalie Allsion

Why Canaries?

Canaries were used in the mines with each group of workers. When the canary stopped singing and died, the workers would know that they had hit a carbon monoxide pocket, and they had to drop their tools and get to the surface.

What is Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

Carbon Monoxide is a gas that is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. It is produced by combustion that is incomplete of carbon-containing materials like coal, wood, paper, gas, and diesel fuel. When this is inhaled, it enters the blood stream through the lungs. When this gas reaches the blood stream, it interferes with the blood’s ability to deliver oxygen to the tissues. There are also some natural occurrences of this gas, such as in coal mines, where pockets of carbon monoxide have been growing for years. When people get Carbon Monoxide poisoning, they are at risk of being in a coma, having brain injuries, or even dying.

Why is carbon monoxide found in pockets of coal?

Carbon monoxide is found in pockets of coal because of the low temperature oxidation of coal.

Where else might carbon monoxide be found in your environment?

Carbon is everywhere, so there is always a possibility that their is carbon monoxide. It can be found when burning fire and other forms of combustion that take place.

What are risk factors for carbon monoxide poisoning?

Many people die from carbon monoxide poisoning. Eventually, the person if not dead, might end up being in a coma or having brain injuries.

Is there a possibility that you can come in conact with carbon monoxide during your day?

Yes. There are many things that produce carbon monoxide. The cars that the use can produce it and also in some buildings that we use, there may be something outputting carbon monoxide that could potentially reach our air if there is a leak.

What are some contemporary sources of this gas?

Some sources are burning coal, the exhaust from gas, and some other fires that take place in the environment.

What are health effects of carbon monoxide poisoning?

Some health effects and symptoms are headaches, blurry vision, drowsiness, dizziness, weakness and confusion. Some worse effects are nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, difficulty breathing, and can lead to a coma, brain damage, or death.

How would you protect yourself or your family from carbon monoxide poisoning?

To protect my family and I from getting carbon monoxide poisoning, we have a carbon monoxide detector in our house, that will alarm if there is a harmful amount in our air.

What do you find as the most startling fact about carbon dioxide?

In the Us between 1999-2004, 439 people died annually from unintentional carbon monoxide exposure.

How can you relate the analogy: Greenland is like the Canary of Global Warming? to the knowledge you already know about carbon monoxide?

With Greenland being mostly made up of ice, it is where we can actually see the global warming process. When the ice melts, it lets us know and makes us aware that global warming is happening, where we can’t really see it where we live as much as we see it in Greenland. Along with carbon monoxide, we can see it, but the canaries, when they die, let the workers know, just like hoe Greenland lets us know there is global warming.

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