Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide (CO) consists of one carbon atom and one oxygen atom. It is a toxic, odorless, colorless gas found naturally at low concentrations in the atmosphere.

How is Carbon Monoxide produced?

Carbon monoxide forms naturally from the partial oxidation of carbon-containing compounds. This occurs in situations where there is not enough oxygen present to produce carbon dioxide. Natural sources include:

  • Animal metabolism

  • Photochemical reactions in the troposphere

  • Volcanoes

  • Forest fires

  • Other forms of combustion

Human activities have increased the concentration of carbon monoxide, particularly in urban areas. The primary sources are transportation and industrial activity, causing temporary CO pollution.

What are the health risks and environmental effects of Carbon Monoxide?

Exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide can lead to severe disability or even be fatal. Malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances, such as furnaces, cookers, water boilers, and gas room heaters, can all lead to CO leaks indoors.

Carbon monoxide has an indirect effect on global warming by reacting with hydroxyl radicals, reducing their abundance. Hydroxyl radicals help reduce the lifetime of strong greenhouse gases. Without their presence, an increase in global warming can occur. Carbon monoxide also contributes to ozone formation in the atmosphere, which is a toxic and reactive gas.

Why use an Aeroqual Carbon Monoxide sensor?

Aeroqual offers a range of fixed and portable monitors to accurately measure atmospheric CO indoors. The monitors feature alarms so that you’re automatically alerted when CO rises above safe levels. This is especially important for leak detection, to protect workers when industries may have CO present, such as in the chemical, food, or medical industry.

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