CO2 levels, Headaches and other Effects

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Best to reply in an earlier thread that has more information.



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Recently in California we had nearby wildfires. For weeks, we had bad air quality from heavy smoke (sometimes called 'Purple Air')

During heavy smoke, the advice on the news was to 'stay inside and close the windows and doors'. (Incidentally, that advice is not so good due to likely bad air quality in your homes.)

Normally, houses require ventilation of say 5-6 house volumes per hour. 4 air exchanges was given as a minimum recommended. This depends on how many people are in the house or room. During heavy smoke more measures may be taken and people might cut off too much ventilation air.

In that case, the carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the house or clean room might rise above recommended levels and can cause health effects. A CO2 meter can be used to monitor the CO2 levels. CO2 levels can also be used to indicate that the ventilation is not adequate or so bad that it is hazardous. You need to read about this subject as it is a safety issue that ultimately involves adequate oxygen to breath.

Read the section about CO2. (Don't confuse with CO, carbon monoxide.)

See also ventilation.

Outdoor CO2 levels are about CO2 400 parts per million (ppm), indoor good to not so good but OK CO2 levels are 600-1000 ppm. Above 1000 ppm ventilation is normally recommended. In addition, the exhaled breath of a person has a CO2 level of 4%, more or less, and that is 40,000 ppm, much higher that the ordinary room levels around 700. There are health effects associated with high levels of CO2 around 2000 ppm and up.

In addition, people often do not sleep alone in a room, (mates, children, pets, etc). More than two people may especially be present especially in a 'clean room' with a HEPA air cleaner while trying to avoid heavy smoke. I got a CO2 meter to check these levels and learned some more about CO2 levels.

During heavy smoke you may be in a clean room in your house with a HEPA air cleaner running, but how is the CO2 level in that clean room?

Headaches from CO2? I know people that have had headaches for years with unknown cause. Now I believe that everyone with headaches from uncertain causes should check to see that their CO2 levels don't get too high.

Some reviews on CO2 meters on *zon, have people giving their experiences using CO2 meters to check their indoor air quality.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Still haven't bought the house plants suggested in the other thread? Those plants may have been the ticket to prevent this double posting.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Still haven't bought the house plants suggested in the other thread? Those plants may have been the ticket to prevent this double posting.
A reference on the internet said that it takes about 500-700 house plants per adult to produce the oxygen needed by an adult. Double check this source.

Along the same lines - double check my searches - it take about 10 bananas per day to get enough potassium. (if bananas were your only source of potassium.)

In short, aim to consume 3,500–4,700 mg of this mineral per day from foods. People who need more potassium should aim towards the higher end. Summary: A healthy adult should aim to consume 3,500–4,700 mg of potassium daily from foods. Certain groups of people should aim to consume at least 4,700 mg per day.

Potassium content one banana, 422 mg


For many years I thought a banana a day was enough! Tennis Myth
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
A reference on the internet said that it takes about 500-700 house plants per adult to produce the oxygen needed by an adult. Double check this source.

Along the same lines - double check my searches - it take about 10 bananas per day to get enough potassium. (if bananas were your only source of potassium.)

In short, aim to consume 3,500–4,700 mg of this mineral per day from foods. People who need more potassium should aim towards the higher end. Summary: A healthy adult should aim to consume 3,500–4,700 mg of potassium daily from foods. Certain groups of people should aim to consume at least 4,700 mg per day.

Potassium content one banana, 422 mg


For many years I thought a banana a day was enough! Tennis Myth
Danke for the info. Guess I'll have to go out and buy 498 more houseplants.

The good news is that there is still plenty of ocean plankton, redwoods, rainforests, etc to provide most of our oxygen. So we don't really need those 500+ house plants.

Many ppl will get more than enough potassium (K) in their diet from a variety of sources. Some ppl even need to significantly limit K intake for various reasons. It is because of this that the FDA limits the K content in supplements. Many have none or little (5-10 mg). Not easy to find any that have more than 99 mg.

Some nutritional formulations like, Boost, will contain 10% DV. There are a few specialty drinks out there that contain more.

I get most of my dietary K from avocado, kale and a variety of other sources. Besides these and bananas, other K-rich foods include OJ / oranges, sweet potatoes, coconut water, spinach, broccoli, apricots, various melons, squash, beans, peas ...
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
You need about 2.3 grams of sodium and 4.5 grams of potassium per day. I read that if the body has too much sodium it will get rid of both sodium and potassium.

With the CO2, outside is about 400, smoke or not. If the air outside does not have smoke or ozone and you cross ventilate your house for 15 minutes, it will usually drop the CO2 from 1000 ppm to 400 ppm. The problem is the smoke when it lasts for days.

We have now had a lot of days of smoke about EPA Air Quality Index 100, more or less. It's about 80 now. With severe asthma, I want to avoid long term exposure to PM2.5 particulates. I would play tennis at AQI of 100, if scheduled, but I don't want that 24 hours a day for over a week. Closing windows and doors, as advised in the news, is not effective against smoke because your house must ventilate and has air leaks. Get yourself an indoor PurpleAir and a HEPA or two to measure & control smoke in your home.

You can check your EPA AQI around you by looking at the PurpleAir Map. NASA FIRM has maps that show satellite fire maps. Go on FIRM and look at Africa and Brazil, compare to CA.

I believe that our current smoke is from the Creek Fire down by Fresno. The smoke seems to have drifted North in a very stable pattern for the last week.

There is a small chance of our first rain since the spring coming this weekend. Please.........
 
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Crocodile

Legend
I think a far bigger effect than CO2 is changed in barometric pressure that occurs between dry and humid days which effects the dilation of your arteries and veins. There are a lot of people that get headaches before a change in weather. The other aspects of course is pollution and pollen and changes in temperature.
As for CO2, if you want to test that theory out, you could go and visit a farm that has a green house plantation and see how you feel,
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
I think a far bigger effect than CO2 is changed in barometric pressure that occurs between dry and humid days which effects the dilation of your arteries and veins. There are a lot of people that get headaches before a change in weather. The other aspects of course is pollution and pollen and changes in temperature.
As for CO2, if you want to test that theory out, you could go and visit a farm that has a green house plantation and see how you feel,
Please supply some links to references on you points.

Interesting. As a child I would usually get a headache when we drove to the Appalachian Mountains, elevations up to about 5000 feet.

I read of the theory in references and it is used in building codes here in CA. In a recent meeting that I viewed on zoom, a HVAC expert said that it requires 7.5 cubic feet of air per minute per adult for larger buildings in CA. The HVAC systems use a CO2 sensor to control the ventilation rate of outdoor air into buildings.
 
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I read that when you feel a strong need to breath, it more involves the need to get rid of CO2 than the need for oxygen. True? (please double check that).
I'm no doctor but that rings true for me. There's a breathing technique high altitude climbers use known as "The Whitaker Wheeze" where you periodically exhale to your limit a couple of times. I believe the reason was CO2 expellation, not O2 inhalation.
 
As a child I would usually get a headache when we drove to the Appalachian Mountains, elevations up to 5000 feet.
That's what all human's experience if the change in altitude is sudden and large enough. If you teleported someone to the top of Everest where the O2 content is only 1/3 of sea level, they'd die rapidly. But if acclimated, many can make it to the top [with the help of bottled O2 and an army of sherpas]; some do it without either [ie Reinhold Messner]].

Everyone's tipping point is different.
 

Crocodile

Legend
Please supply some links to references on you points.

Interesting. As a child I would usually get a headache when we drove to the Appalachian Mountains, elevations up to about 5000 feet.

I read of the theory in references and it is used in building codes here in CA. In a recent meeting that I viewed on zoom, a HVAC expert said that it requires 7.5 cubic feet of air per minute per adult for larger buildings in CA. The HVAC systems use a CO2 sensor to control the ventilation rate of outdoor air into buildings.
Here is one link that deals with vasomotor rhinitis and includes reactions to change in barometric air pressure as triggers.
 
SSRI's work wonders for CO2-induced headaches.
Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors, for those who are interested. I tried them for migraines; can't really conclude they made a difference.

The idea behind an SSRI is to block the absorption ["re-uptake"] of serotonin, leaving it more bio-available for its main jobs.
 
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