Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide (CO), an odorless, colorless gas. It is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned and it can cause sudden illness and death. CDC works with national, state, local, and other partners to raise awareness about CO poisoning and to monitor CO-related illness and death surveillance data in the U.S.

starting a generator placed in a driveway

Answers to commonly asked questions about CO

a battery in one hand, and a CO detector in the other

You CAN prevent carbon monoxide poisoning

CO can't be seen, smelled, or heard, but can be stopped.

Carbon monoxide factsheets, available in 9 languages

illustration of a family in a motorboat. The boat is moving forward, and the motor's exhaust is also moving forward (backdrafting) over the family.

Gasoline-powered engines on boats, including onboard generators, produce carbon monoxide.

Page last reviewed: December 17, 2020