Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. A product of incomplete burning of hydrocarbon-based fuels, carbon monoxide consists of a carbon atom and an oxygen atom linked together. Only small amounts of CO are produced by normal combustion. However, incomplete combustion greatly increases the production of carbon monoxide.

 

   
   
   
 
 
Carbon Monoxide
Environmental Health Center

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that interferes with the delivery of oxygen in the blood to the rest of the body. It is produced by the incomplete combustion of fuels.

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Carbon Monoxide
Health and Safety Executive

What you should know

  • CO is widely known as the "silent killer"
  • CO is highly poisonous
  • CO is undetectable to human senses. You can't see, smell or taste its presence
  • Exposure to even very low levels can cause brain damage or death

What signs can I look for?

  • Yellow or brown staining around or on appliances
  • Pilot lights which frequently blow out
  • Increased condensation inside windows

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Carbon Monoxide and You
National Ag Safety Database

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that is slightly lighter than air. Only small insignificant amounts of CO are produced by normal combustion. However, incomplete combustion of any fuel greatly increases the production of poisonous carbon monoxide. Even normally safe, fuel-burning furnaces can present a danger if not cared for properly. Fuel-burning appliance systems should be kept in good repair and checked at least annually.

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New Standard For Carbon Monoxide Detectors
U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that is produced during incomplete combustion of any fuel. It can cause death without warning. Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause flu- like symptoms and also dizziness, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and irregular breathing.

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Automobiles and Carbon Monoxide
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas. A product of incomplete burning of hydrocarbon-based fuels, carbon monoxide consists of a carbon atom and an oxygen atom linked together.

 

Carbon monoxide enters the bloodstream through the lungs and forms carboxyhemoglobin, a compound that inhibits the blood's capacity to carry oxygen to organs and tissues. Persons with heart disease are especially sensitive to carbon monoxide poisoning and may experience chest pain if they breathe the gas while exercising. Infants, elderly persons, and individuals with respiratory diseases are also particularly sensitive. Carbon monoxide can affect healthy individuals, impairing exercise capacity, visual perception, manual dexterity, learning functions, and ability to perform complex tasks.

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Sources of Indoor Air Pollution
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Colorless gas or liquid; practically odorless.  Burns with a violet flame.  Slightly soluble in water; soluble in alcohol and benzene.  Specific gravity 0.96716;  boiling point -190 degrees C; solidification point -207 degrees C; specific volume 13.8 cu. ft./lb. (70 degrees F).  Auto-ignition temperature (liquid) 1128 degrees F; Classed as an inorganic compound.

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