You can’t see it, smell it or taste it but, in high enough concentrations, it can kill you within minutes. It’s carbon monoxide (CO), and it’s America’s leading cause of accidental poisoning, with an estimated 400 deaths and 20,000 emergency ward admissions annually. The Pocket CO, the world’s smallest renewable carbon monoxide detector, will not only immediately alert you to dangerous levels of CO, but also calculate your exposure on a daily basis.

Most people have heard stories of carbon monoxide leaking from poorly-vented stoves and fireplaces. But a lot of common household appliances also produce CO, including gas water heaters, furnaces and charcoal grills. Cars are, of course, notorious for CO emissions, but any enclosed combustion engine poses a threat. Consequently, recreational boaters, truck drivers and small aircraft pilots are at particular risk of poisoning. A portable scientific instrument is the ideal safeguard.

The Pocket CO can detect carbon monoxide even at levels as low at one part per million (ppm). The device will beep hourly at 25ppm, which is the maximum average exposure for an eight-hour work day. At 50ppm, the maximum permissible exposure in the workplace, an alarm sounds every 20 seconds. At 125ppm, it sounds every 10 seconds. And at 400ppm, a level which can cause headaches, nausea and death, it will go off every 5 seconds.

It’s a very simple thing to use, with an easy-to-read display, loud alarm, vibrator and bright red light. It also, usefully, accumulates data as a dosimeter to report average exposure, total exposure, maximum exposure and time of maximum. The Pocket Co is designed by KWJ Engineering and can be ordered online for USD$139.

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