CARBON MONOXIDE [CO]
• Air polluter
• Colourless, unscented, bland and highly toxic gas.
• Weighs less than air.
• Released through combustion procedures.
• Natural: volcanoes, coal mines, marshes and forest fires.
• Power: industries, steel plants, foundries, chemicals and oil
• Human: fossil fuel combustion – gasoline, diesel, kerosene, natural
gas, wood, coal and charcoal.
• Blocked, broken or leaking chimneys enable entrance of CO.
• Vehicles, stoves, heaters, tobacco, generators and fire places.
• Industrial workers – due to combustion processes.
• Household occupants – due to operation of heaters, vehicles,
generators and cooking ranges.
• Farmers – due to outdated tractors.
• Animals and birds – due to CO concentrations in the atmosphere.
IMPACTS ON HUMAN HEALTH
• Head ache
• Nervous system damage
• Aching muscles
• Impaired reasoning
• Low birth weight
• Foetal mortality
• Logen Square Building, Chicago: 7 people were hospitalized due to
• Boston: Teenager died from CO poisoning. A man in twenties died
in his car due to snow-buildup in tailpipe which causes CO to
accumulate. 2 children hospitalized. Other of ages 5 and 8 were
rushed into emergency due to CO poisoning.
• Cornwall, UK: Elderly couple and daughter died as a result of CO
poisoning at a caravan site in Tremark Park.
• Long Island, New York: Michelle Bracco died after using generator
owing to a power failure following Superstorm Sandy.
• Newark, New Jersey: 2 teenagers died owing to exposure to CO
from a generator.
• Pennsylvania: 4 people died from generator fumes.
• CO increases methane concentration which oxidizes in carbon
• Increases greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.
• Interaction with Ultra-violet radiation produces ozone and smog
which devastate infrastructure and crops.
• Puts wildlife at risk
• In humans, it reduces supply of oxygen to tissues, organs and
central nervous system.
• BBC: world average of CO is 4000 kg per person per year
• In UK alone, it amounts to 10,000 kg per person per year.
• In 2006, Qatar was ranked at the top for releasing the highest
amount of CO – 56.2 tonnes per capita.
• UAE stood second at 32.8 tonnes per capita and U.S.A ranked third
at 19.0 tonnes per capita.
• Inspect and preserve fuel-burning appliances. Have them checked
regularly by a professional for signs of rust or damage.
• Thoroughly go through instructor manuals to ensure correct
operation of appliances.
• Avoid using outdoor appliances, such as BBQ grills, inside homes. CO
may become concentrated.
• Use CO detectors. They detect long- and short-term CO
concentrations. They should be installed in homes.
• Install exhaust fans to vent gas from heaters and stoves.
• Do not leave the car inside the garage for long periods.
• CO definition
• Sources of CO
• Who is exposed
• Impacts on human health
• Examples of impacts on human health
• Environmental implications
• Examples of effects on environment
• Risk Management