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Carbon Dioxide Shows Up (And Kills) in Unexpected Places

16 Oct

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is everywhere. It’s the predominant gas you exhale with each breath. It comes from many other sources, including grape fermentation. This was tragically evident when four members of a winemaking family in Italy attempted to stir their barreled wine. Things didn’t go well.

https://www.newser.com/story/311791/freak-winemaking-accident-kills-4-members-of-family.html

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is present in very low amounts in the atmosphere but when its concentration increases above 10%, it replaces the Oxygen (O2) available for breathing to the point that hypoxia (low oxygen) results and death from asphyxiation becomes a real risk. In the wine-makers’ case, the CO2 generated by the wine fermentation built up within the enclosed space and reached toxic levels. The result of excess CO2 and lowered O2 in the air is confusion, disorientation, collapse, coma, and death from asphyxia.

Not as dangerous as its cousin, Carbon Monoxide (CO), CO2 remains a deadly gas.

On 6-29-21, I recorded a podcast on Criminal Mischief: The Art and Science of Crime Fiction about Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning.

For more on CO2, CO, and other deadly gases, check out:

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