Why can't charcoal grills be used indoors

Risk of carbon monoxide poisoning: charcoal grills, gas-powered radiant heaters and shishas indoors

23.09.2020

The improper use of gas-powered radiant heaters and gas or charcoal grills indoors can lead to dangerous carbon monoxide poisoning. If several shishas are used in a narrow, poorly ventilated room, harmful carbon monoxide concentrations can occur just as quickly. Shisha smokers then run a high risk of poisoning themselves unnoticed, especially when using large amounts of charcoal. Because the gas carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless.

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“When you inhale carbon monoxide, it displaces the oxygen in the blood and leads to a lack of oxygen in the body and consequently to cell damage. “At the beginning, poisoning only shows unspecific symptoms such as nausea, headache, shortness of breath and dizziness. Later on, palpitations, impaired consciousness and weakness in the arms and legs can occur, making it difficult for those affected - even if they then recognize the danger - to leave the room. The heart muscle cells and nerve cells in the brain are damaged. At low concentrations of the gas in the room, it can take hours before symptoms appear. At high concentrations, life-threatening poisoning can occur within minutes, ”warns Dr. Ulrich Fegeler, pediatrician and member of the expert committee of the professional association of paediatricians (BVKJ). Other sources of danger are chimneys and stoves or open fireplaces or gas boilers that are not properly operated or maintained. Little is known that carbon monoxide can outgas from the resin of the wood fibers of wood pellets. Therefore, the doors to the storage rooms should remain closed and the rooms should be separately well ventilated. It is best for children not to have access to it.

Since conventional smoke detectors do not recognize carbon monoxide, the installation of a special carbon monoxide alarm is recommended in apartments with gas heaters, gas flow heaters, open fireplaces and the like, as well as when storing wood pellets.

Carbon monoxide poisoning leads to several thousand cases of poisoning and hundreds of deaths in Germany every year (625 people died from carbon monoxide poisoning in 2018). After drugs and drugs as well as alcohol, carbon monoxide is one of the most common causes of poisoning in Germany.

In general, the Youth Protection Act (§ 10 JuSchG) prohibits children and young people from purchasing and consuming tobacco products - this also includes shishas. They are not allowed to smoke tobacco in public. This regulation includes nicotine-free e-cigarettes and e-shishas.

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This is a press release from the Professional Association of Pediatricians (BVKJ). This press release or parts of the article can be printed under the following source: www.kinderaerzte-im-netz.de. In the case of publication in online media, the source must be linked to this home page or to a subpage of the BVKJ parent portal. In principle, photos and images may not be used.