Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide detector

Although carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can be prevented, every year, hundreds of people in the United States die as a result of accidental, non-fire related exposure to this toxic gas.

We Track That

The Tracking Network uses data from the U.S. Census Bureauexternal icon, hospital and emergency department databases, and death certificate data to get state and local data about CO poisonings. State-to-state comparisons about CO poisonings must be made carefully because data collection and reporting methods vary by state.

Types of Data

The Tracking Network provides data about health effects due to CO poisoning. These data can be used to assess the burden of severe CO poisoning, monitor trends over time, identify high-risk groups, and enhance prevention, education, and evaluation efforts.

Unintentional CO Poisoning Emergency Department Visits * ¶
This indicator shows the number of patients seen in an emergency department for CO poisoning. These patients may have health effects ranging from very minor to very serious. However, even mild and moderate cases of CO poisoning show a CO poisoning risk in the person’s home, work, or play environment. Advanced options include distinctions between fire, non-fire, unknown intent or mechanism poisonings. Data are available at the state level for select states.

Unintentional CO Poisoning Hospitalizations* ¶
This indicator estimates the number of people who were admitted to the hospital due to CO exposure. Advanced options include distinctions between fire, non-fire, unknown intent or mechanism poisonings. Data are available at the state level for select states.

Unintentional CO Poisoning Mortality*
This indicator tracks the number of people who died because they were exposed to CO unintentionally. Advanced options include distinctions between unintentional fire, non-fire, unknown intent or mechanism poisonings. Data are available at the state level for the entire United States.

* These data come from hospital records but recording a cause of injury in hospital admission or discharge records is not required in all states. This limits the ability to compare data across states. In addition, death investigation laws and reporting vary by place. This limits the ability to compare mortality data across locations.

¶ These data are supplied by health departments funded by the CDC Tracking Program.

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Data in Action

Tracking CO poisoning in a standard way over time can help us

  • better understand the health consequences of CO poisoning across the United States,
  • learn about the effects of long-term exposures to low levels of CO,
  • monitor trends,
  • identify high risk groups, and
  • determine the impact of public health policy aimed at preventing CO poisoning.

Read these success stories to learn about the CO poisoning related work happening in our funded Tracking Programs.

Kansas | Louisiana | Maine | Minnesota | New York State | New York City | Washington | Wisconsin

Learn More

Tracking Resources

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Page last reviewed: October 21, 2020