Health Effects of Air Pollutants - Carbon Monoxide
Health Effects of Carbon Monoxide
Inhaled CO enters the blood stream and binds preferentially to haemoglobin (the substance that carries oxygen to the cells), thereby replacing oxygen. It results in reducing the amount of oxygen which is delivered to body organs and tissues. The percentage of haemoglobin inactivated by CO depends on the amount of air breathed in, the concentration of CO in air and the duration of exposure. In a healthy person, elevated CO concentration exposure is associated with visual impairment, reduced work capacity, reduced mental function and poor learning ability. Persons suffering from heart and circulatory problems, fetuses, young infants, pregnant women and elderly people are likely to be more susceptible to the effects of CO .