If you have a gas connection and rely on gas for heating and cooking food, then varying a gas leak is very important. Gas leakage is hard to detect and poses a real threat.
Even when a gas leak is detected, it may already have had an impact. The most severe effect a gas leak has is on the human body.
Excessive natural gas or Carbon monoxide in the air has adverse health effects. It is necessary to look out for these signs to help you spot a gas leak in time.
Common Health Problems Caused By Gas Leaks
If there is a gas leak in the vicinity, you may experience the following health problems:
Natural gas is hard to detect. It may even be impossible if the leak is gradual. This is because a low level of gas release may prevent you from detecting the smell of the gas.
Experiencing a headache is an initial sign of gas poisoning. This may be followed by dizziness and even nausea. Such symptoms occur because a gas leak leads to reduce the amount of oxygen inhalation.
Unexplained and randomly occurring headaches should always be addressed. If you usually do not get headaches, then take any such symptom seriously. This is especially the case if there is no other explanation for a headache, like lack of sleep or being sick.
Similarly, dizziness and nausea are telltale signs and must be treated seriously. Consult a medical health professional immediately to be on the safe side.
The reduced oxygen intake due to a gas leak irritates the eyes and the throat. A sore throat is amongst the most common health issues, along with headaches and fatigue. All three symptoms are experienced at least 33% of the time when there is a leak.
Inhaling excess Carbon Monoxide causes dryness. This dryness is why the eyes and throat become itchy and sore.
A gas leak may even make you extremely tired and lethargic. The leakage causes oxygen levels to drop. This leads to lower levels of oxygen being taken in.
We need oxygen to get energy from the food we consume. Without the right amount of oxygen, our body may fail to produce the energy needed to perform even simple tasks.
This is why being tired, drowsy, and sleepy are common health problems reported in the event of a leak. This is an especially dangerous symptom as it may prevent you from taking appropriate action, like calling for help or opening windows.
As the gas levels rise and the oxygen inhaled goes down, it can cause breathing problems. The process of respiration requires oxygen and lets out carbon dioxide. Under normal circumstances, the air we breathe contains enough oxygen to satisfy the body’s need for oxygen.
If, however, the gas level in the air increases to a certain level, it can reduce the oxygen levels necessary for respiration. The result is a lack of appropriate oxygen intake, which can cause breathing issues.
Troubled breathing due to a lack of oxygen leads to another significant health problem, chest pains. The heart Oxygen is pumped around the body. As the body tries to get the proper amount of oxygen, this forces the heart to work harder.
The pressure of pumping harder and harder to get oxygen to every part of the body can result in chest pains. It can eventually lead to death because of cardiac arrest as asphyxiation sets in.
A gas leak can also cause the skin to become irritated. Dryness and itchiness may result. Exposure to the gas can even cause blisters on the skin. The skin may become numb and there may be a loss of sensation.
Long-term Health Effects
Prolonged exposure to low doses of gas is also very damaging. A low yet steady level of gas leakage may be more harmful as it is more likely to go undetected. Gradual exposure to gas hurts brain functioning. There may be a loss of focus and even memory over time.
Breathing issues that develop into cardiovascular disorders may also be caused by gas leakage. Some mental health issues, like depression and anxiety, are also related to long-term exposure to natural gas.
Gas Safety Measures
Gas Safety is a concern. Gas leakages can be hard to spot. However, the consequences can be deadly. Aside from the various adverse health effects mentioned above, a gas leak is a fire hazard. Gas is highly flammable, so that a gas leak can lead to significant accidents.
The good news is that with the appropriate precautions, the risk of a gas leak can be significantly minimized. Most of these safety measures are easy to implement.
Necessary gas safety measures include:
- Always be on the lookout for a gas leak. Do not let your guard down.
- Have a Carbon monoxide detector installed. Regularly check if the detector is working correctly and has workable batteries.
- Get a gas safety certificate CP 12 annually. Always hire a registered gas safety engineer to survey your gas connections.
- Have a safety plan in place for a potential gas-related incident. This includes teaching children how to act in case of an emergency and knowing how to cut the main gas supply.
Playing It Safe
Gas is an excellent resource. It is a utility that makes a home comfortable to live in. However, proper safety measures must be in place to ensure no gas-related accidents occur.
Currently, deaths or health problems due to gas leakages are at an all-time low. This is because gas safety measures are strictly implemented by law. For instance, the law requires landlords to get a gas safety check done every year.
These safety measures cost money, yet the security they provide is invaluable. It is impossible to put a price on safety and security.