Economic versus biological resources

In economics a resource is defined as a commodity, service, or other asset used to produce goods and services that meet human needs and wants (see economic resource). Economics itself has been defined as the study of how society manages its scarce resources.Economics focuses on resource supply and demand as it influences production of goods and services to meet human needs and wants. Classical economics recognizes three categories of resources: land, labor, and capital.Together with entrepreneurship, land, labor, and capital]omics. Land includes all natural resources and is viewed as both the site of production and the source of raw materials. Labor or human resources consists of human effort provided in the creation of products, paid in wage. Capital consists of human-made goods or means of production (machinery, buildings, and other infrastructure) used in the production of other goods and services, paid in interest. Entrepreneurs serve as managers, risk-takers, leaders, and visionaries.

In biology and ecology a resource is defined as a substance or object required by a living organism for normal growth, maintenance, and reproduction (see biological resource). Resources, such as food, water, or nesting sites, can be consumed by an organism and, as a result, become unavailable to other organisms. For animals key resources include food, water, and territory. For plants key resources include sunshine, nutrients, water, and a place to grow.
There are three fundamental differences between economic versus ecological views: 1) the economic resource definition is human-centered (anthropocentric) and the ecological resource definition is nature-centered (biocentric or ecocentric); 2) the economic view includes desire along with necessity, whereas the biological view is about basic biological needs; and 3) economic systems are based on markets of currency exchanged for goods and services, whereas biological systems are based on natural processes of growth, maintenance, and reproduction.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Symptoms and Treatment

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a common problem during the winter months when people keep their windows shut to keep out the cold and use heaters that may be faulty. Faulty home appliances and improper ventilation exposes the people in the room to high levels of this toxic gas. Read on to know about the causes, symptoms and treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced due to incomplete combustion of carbon based fuels. It can also be caused due to improper installation of certain appliances and lack of proper ventilation. It is also known as the 'silent killer' as it can't be seen or smelt. Although small doses cause mild symptoms like nausea and dizziness, large doses can cause brain damage and even death. It is believed to claim around 500 lives every year.

Sources and Causes
Carbon monoxide is created due to combustion of certain fuels in absence of proper levels of oxygen. Common sources of carbon monoxide are motor vehicle exhaust, smoke from fire and fumes from engines. Certain appliances at home also produce this poisonous gas when they are not functioning properly. Common sources of this gas inside a house or a building are malfunctioning cooking appliances, water heater, gas clothes dryers, unvented supplemental heaters, oil, gas or coal furnaces that are not maintained properly. Lack of proper ventilation also adds to an increase in the concentration of the toxic gas in a room. For example, not only does a choked chimney cut down the supply of oxygen required for production of carbon dioxide instead of carbon monoxide, it also traps the carbon monoxide produced due to incomplete combustion of fuels.

Hemoglobin which is the red pigment in the red blood cells carries oxygen to the tissues within the body. However, carbon monoxide has a high affinity to the iron sites in hemoglobin to which oxygen molecules get attached during their transfer from lungs to different parts of the body. When human beings are exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide, the molecules of this gas attach to hemoglobin molecules more readily than oxygen due to their stronger affinity for hemoglobin molecules than oxygen. The compound thus formed is called carboxyhemoglobin. It is this compound which is believed to be the major cause of carbon monoxide poisoning. Due to preferential attachment of hemoglobin with carbon monoxide molecules when they are present in inhaled air, there isn't enough hemoglobin free to transport oxygen. Moreover, if carbon monoxide attaches to any one of the four oxygen binding sites of hemoglobin, the affinity of oxygen for the other three sites increases. Therefore, even if a hemoglobin molecule is carrying three oxygen molecules, it will not deliver them to the tissues. In either case, the tissues are starved of oxygen which hampers the chemical processes going on in their cells. This creates a condition known as hypoxic injury to the tissues.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can be detected by these commonly occurring symptoms:
Chest pain
Shortness of breath
Abdominal pain
In case carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected, all affected individuals should be moved away from the area to a place with enough supply of fresh air. If someone has stopped breathing, CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) may have to be administered. Every person should be tested for poisoning from carbon monoxide and proper medical treatment should be given.

Medical treatment includes:
Providing high doses of oxygen using a face mask from an oxygen reserve bag. High levels of oxygen helps carbon monoxide to dissociate from hemoglobin. Hence, the hemoglobin is now free to carry oxygen to the various cells of the body.
In case a person has inhaled high doses of carbon monoxide and has suffered from severe poisoning, higher doses of oxygen may be given to him using a hyperbaric chamber. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is supposed to hasten the process of breaking down of carboxyhemoglobin. Hyperbaric oxygen also directly provides oxygen to the tissues. Hence, it is more effective than giving oxygen through an oxygen reservoir bag.
There is no home remedy for carbon monoxide poisoning. The only way to prevent one's family from this hazard is to keep the home appliances in proper working condition and maintain proper ventilation in the house.

Carbon Monoxide Detector Placement

Carbon Monoxide Detector

Carbon monoxide poisoning is the most common type of poisoning, which can eventually result in death. It is regarded as one of the most fatal types of poisoning in many countries. Carbon monoxide detectors can help a great deal in curbing the menace of carbon monoxide poisoning. Read on to know more about carbon monoxide detector placement.

A carbon monoxide detector is a gadget used to detect the presence of carbon monoxide, a lethal colorless and odorless compound, in the surroundings in order to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, which occurs when an excessive amount of carbon monoxide is inhaled. The detector sounds a warning alarm when it detects a high concentration of carbon monoxide in the atmosphere so that the people in that area take the necessary measures to avoid the hazards of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is formed due to the incomplete combustion of fuels. At home, carbon monoxide can be formed by space heaters, water heaters or blocked chimneys. Therefore, every household should have a carbon monoxide detector to ensure that they are not exposed to the hazards of carbon monoxide.

Carbon Monoxide Detectors
The various types of carbon monoxide detectors available in the market range from battery operated ones to proper electric detectors requiring wall outlets. In biometric detectors, there is a hemoglobin disk in the alarm chamber. This disk darkens when it is exposed to carbon monoxide. The process is monitored by an LED sensor, which triggers the alarm as soon as the disk starts darkening. In semiconductor based carbon monoxide detectors, also known as MOS detectors, the levels of carbon monoxide are monitored by a computer chip within the unit and the alarm is triggered on continuous influx of carbon monoxide. Semiconductor based detectors come within a price tag of $50. Yet another type of detector is the safe air sentry, also known as electrolytic sensor detectors. This is the fastest acting carbon monoxide detector, that uses electro-chemical sensors to detect the changes in carbon monoxide levels.

Carbon Monoxide Detector Placement
Carbon monoxide detector placement is the most important aspect of using a carbon monoxide detector for home safety. You can either install a single carbon monoxide detector, ideal if you have a small house, or more than one detector, with each level having a separate piece, ideal for large multi-storied house. If you are installing a single piece for the entire house, the ideal location to install it would be in the area where you sleep. This idea is backed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). This will ensure that you hear the alarm and wake up even if you are in a deep slumber. Having additional detectors, one at each level or each room, is always advantageous considering it provides extra protection to your house. The specific gravity of carbon monoxide is 0.9657, while that of air is 1, which means both are roughly of the same weight. But often, carbon monoxide is accompanied by warm air let out by the appliances such as heaters, hence it tends to rise with the warm air. Therefore, it is ideal to place carbon monoxide detectors at a considerable height in the house. Never install carbon monoxide detector very close to fuel burning appliances. These appliances emit a small amount of carbon monoxide when they are started. Having a detector right above or besides the appliance can trigger the alarm on the release of this small amount of carbon monoxide. Also remember that the detector shouldn't be placed within a periphery of 15 feet of any cooking or heating appliances.

Carbon monoxide detectors came in various shapes and sizes. Electrolytic sensor detectors tend to be very costly, while biometric detectors and MOS detectors are relatively inexpensive. No matter which detector you buy, the most important factor is carbon monoxide detector placement. Just having the detectors is meaningless, as for effective working, these detectors should be planted at the right places. Air pollution, especially carbon monoxide poisoning, is a serious threat which can lead to grave health problems, and hence it's better to buy a carbon monoxide detector, rather than risking your family members face the ill-effects of carbon monoxide.

Methane Gas Exposure Symptoms

Exposure to methane gas can be caused in different ways. It can give rise to several health issues. The first of the methane gas exposure symptoms is headache.

Methane is a simple alkaline compound, which is an important part of natural gas. Its chemical formula is CH4 and it is a colorless and odorless gas. Methane burned in the presence of oxygen produces water and carbon dioxide. The symptoms of methane gas exposure are not seen, as soon as the person comes in contact with the gas. The symptoms take certain amount of time before they are seen, as methane is less dense than air. Let's now read about exposure to methane gas and the symptoms of methane gas exposure.

Exposure to Methane Gas

There are three ways in which a person can be exposed to methane gas. The first of them is inhalation. Methane gas can be inhaled when it enters our homes or office building. It can enter our homes through cracks in the foundations of the building or through sewer traps if the house or office is built on or near landfills. The chances of inhalation increase when we unknowingly pass by closed septic tanks, sewers or farm waste pits. You should look around in your surroundings and be aware, as there are chances that you may be unknowingly producing and inhaling methane gas. Along with sewers, the other areas where methane gas production may take place are rotting food in the kitchen, compost piles outside a window, potting soil in a plastic bag and exposure via waste water treatment plants.

The other possible way of exposure to methane gas is through ingestion. This is however, a rare possibility, but one that cannot be ruled out totally. Naturally created methane gas can find its way into the natural water reservoirs, but it is known to evaporate fast as well. A child can ingest methane gas, if he eats dirt that has traces of methane in it. The level of exposure caused by ingestion is very low and there are no known side effects of it on the body. It is very unlikely that methane gas will enter your body through touch, as methane finds it difficult to penetrate through the skin. However, for when it does, it is thrown out of the body either through respiration or through urine. Now let's turn towards symptoms of methane gas exposure.

Symptoms of Methane Gas Exposure

It is possible to identify signs of methane gas exposure, by understanding the various symptoms of methane gas exposure. Information regarding methane gas exposure during pregnancy is not available in sufficient amounts. However, it is recommended, that sufficient care is taken during the said period. Here are some methane gas exposure symptoms:
Exposure to high levels of methane gas depletes the oxygen level in the body, causing difficulty in breathing and suffocation.
If the oxygen level in the body depletes to anything less than 12%, the person can become unconscious and prove to be lethal in some cases.
Since the levels of oxygen in the body depletes, the body tries to make it up by using the oxygen contained in the bodily fluids. This basically leads to dehydration.
Nausea and vomiting are also methane gas poisoning symptoms. There are chances that a person can collapse due to exposure to methane gas.
Headaches can also be caused due to exposure to methane gas. This sign was also observed in the school in Texas, where a methane gas blast killed about 300 students and faculty members.
Another symptom of methane gas exposure is heart palpitations. It causes an uncomfortable sensation of the heart beating rapidly, abnormally and out of sequence.
Due to the depletion of oxygen in the body, methane gas exposure gives rise to cognitive problems. The person is inattentive, has memory loss and poor judgment. These symptoms aggravate, when the exposure to this gas is more.
Exposure to methane gas also causes dizziness and blurred vision. This symptom reduces, when the person moves away from the area that is high in methane gas concentration.
Methane gas exposure also causes lack of motor coordination. Even in the most familiar surroundings, the person will knock things around. There are chances, that the person will drop things he has picked up, more often.
Some patients of methane gas exposure also display flu-like symptoms. The patient may also experience mental uneasiness and lethargy.
If methane gas is burnt and there is paucity of air, carbon monoxide will be produced. If carbon monoxide is produced in large quantities, it can prove to be fatal for the person.
As you can see from the above description, the methane exposure symptoms could easily mimic those of other medical conditions. Therefore, you will have to get yourself examined from a medical practitioner to diagnose, what the problem exactly is. If the symptoms a person has identify themselves with methane gas exposure symptoms, the only way to escape with minimal damage is to rush to a nearby hospital without causing any delay. The person will have to be put on an immediate supply of oxygen using a life support mask. The person may also have to be put on an intravenous drip in order to avoid any further dehydration. To prevent the formation of methane gas at home, it is necessary that your house and office buildings are well ventilated.

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