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Carbon monoxide test - anyone else high?

(14 Posts)
mackinnonka Thu 17-Dec-15 17:13:07

I had my booking appointment with midwife yesterday and I did the carbon monoxide breath test, given that I don't smoke, play on the M25 or have an old boiler it should have been fine....

Midwife said 4 was the max reading....mine was 20! Then he went on to explain how the machine is calibrated etc and its all fine, so we did it again and it was still just as high confused

Midwife suggested I check boiler, but my house is under 10 years old and we have only lived there 18months and know that the boiler is relatively new as they replaced the full heating/water system...plus its in the garage not the house and we had it serviced last year.

We have a gas fireplace, but don't really use it, and we have two 'smart' smoke alarms on the bottom and middle level of house which also measure carbon monoxide. OH checked the levels they were reading and it says its fine.

I am basically stumped as to what can be causing such a high reading in my breath...and midwife had not other suggestions or ways to remedy it, not sure if I should be bothered or not?

WhoTheFuckIsSimon Thu 17-Dec-15 17:17:35

That is high. I did a reading for a laugh once and think I got six which they said for a non smoker, country dweller was high. Everyone else was getting 1 or 2.

I would be asking the midwife for a repeat test on a different machine.

Do you do a lot of driving, get stuck in traffic?

Kaytee1987 Thu 17-Dec-15 17:22:04

That's very high! I got 1 which is apparently the lowest most people would get. Apparently anything 5+ is a smokers level.

mackinnonka Thu 17-Dec-15 17:26:48

I am wondering if I did it wrong, maybe blowing out for too long or something, but having done it twice and being assured that the machines are calibrated and have smart sensors to say when they need fixed etc.

I have never smoked, don't drive a lot/spent time in traffic. Only thing I can think of is that I commute to London, use the tube etc but I cant imagine that would be the reason.

OH has bought a gauge for us to use around the house and see if there is anything unusual.

I asked midwife what would need to be done if it stayed high and he was a bit like "dunno".

It's so odd!

somersetsinger Thu 17-Dec-15 18:32:26

I got a higher than expected reading of 9 at my booking in appointment. I have never smoked but the midwife said she wasn't worried.

The next day, another midwife called and asked if she could retest to see if it was a repeatable result. She ended up visiting me at home a week later and getting a lower reading (although I think it was still a 5). She also checked the background levels at home and confirmed that they were low.

A few weeks later, when I had my car serviced, the garage changed the filters and I wondered if that was the cause. My car is 12 years old and I drove it to the first appointment and shortly before being tested the second time. Never got a definitive answer, though.

CuppaSarah Thu 17-Dec-15 21:59:04

Never assume a new boiler is safe. In fact most of the time leaking carbon monoxide is from new boilers, it just takes one person making one mistake or forgetting one test. I have seen many, many people loose their jobs for it.

Another thing to do is check at work. If you're working in the same space every day it's possibly from there. Or could very easily be a neighbours boiler/gas appliances. Its very common for leaks to be picked up by neighbours.

Sidge Thu 17-Dec-15 22:09:30

Unless you live with a heavy smoker a reading for a non smoker of 20 is incredibly high.

I'd be getting someone registered with Gas Safe to check your boiler and gas fire and your cooker if that's gas. The CO breath monitors are generally very accurate.

Runningupthathill82 Thu 17-Dec-15 22:41:50

That's really high for a non-smoker. I always blow between 0 and 2, depending on how much walking along a busy road I've done immediately prior to the appointment. Most I've ever blown throughout my two pregnancies was a 3.

I don't mean to scare you, but if I were you I'd get my boiler and car checked as a matter of urgency.

SisterMoonshine Thu 17-Dec-15 22:49:34

I think being in London every day and using the tube could explain it, couldn't it?

mackinnonka Fri 18-Dec-15 09:02:15

We got a CO gauge, put it in the garage (with car and boiler), in the lounge where the fireplace is, and in the kitchen with gas cooker and it all read 0....both of our smart alarms also say there is a 0 reading so I don't think its in the house tbh. That only leaves work - airconditioned office or my commute as the source really confused

OH doesn't smoke, don't spend time with anyone who smokes as non of my friends or family do.

I think I'll see if I can do another test with midwife as non of it seems to add up!

abas Fri 18-Dec-15 09:36:34

It doesn't really matter how old your boilers is, you should get it checked out. I run a CO awareness charity following the death of my daughter. In the same year my daughter died, another girl died of CO poisoning and her boiler had been newly installed. Do you have a gas cooker? Someone wrote to thank us recently because they had read about my daughter and bought a CO alarm and it sounded as a result of a fault in her cooker. www.katiehaines.com

mackinnonka Fri 18-Dec-15 10:02:23

What's odd is that having used a CO reader there is a zero reading everywhere in the house. The boiler was serviced within the last 12 months, we have two CO/smoke alarms in the house and the boiler isn't in the main part of the house it's in the garage... will get the boiler checked out, but I am still stumped!

I am starting to think the testing machine was wrong/I did it wrong somehow. I blew out long and slow like a breathalyser test - maybe it should have been a shorter puff? I did it twice though, so who knows.

Runningupthathill82 Fri 18-Dec-15 10:13:57

No, you have to blow out long and slow, certainly not a short puff. I did a test this week and it came up 0 despite exhaling for maybe 10ish seconds.
Perhaps the test was faulty, but surely if it was it would have shown abnormally high readings all day, with all patients?
I honestly would ring the midwife and chase this up. 20 is an exceptionally high reading and, if there is a carbon monoxide issue in your home or car that you haven't found yet, it'll need further exploration before the baby arrives.

MytwinisMilaKunis Fri 18-Dec-15 10:22:19

I never had a test for that when pregnant.

Abas so sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughter Katie. Great advice on your site to take the alarm with you on holiday. I would never have thought of that.

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