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CISDOC database

Document ID (ISN)66385
CIS number 96-936
ISBN(s) 0-11-753035-2
Year 1994
Convention or series no. EPAQS No.4
Author(s)
Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards
Title Carbon monoxide
Bibliographic information HMSO Publications Centre, P.O. Box 276, London SW8 5DT, United Kingdom, 1994. vii, 23p. Illus. 11 ref. Price: GBP 5.95.
Abstract Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas produced by the incomplete combustion of organic substances (e.g. in automobile engines). It is highly toxic, as it interferes with the transport of oxygen by red blood cells. Its lethal nature is enhanced by the fact that it is both colourless and odourless, and the first sign of severe poisoning is loss of consciousness. Fatal consequences of exposure to CO are, however, restricted to people exposed to very high concentrations (generally in confined atmospheres). The main risk of exposure to CO at low concentrations indoors, or in an outdoors environment, is an increased risk of health problems in persons with ischaemic heart disease. After reviewing measurement methods and the evidence for health risks, this document recommends an Air Quality Standard of 10ppm as a running 8h average for CO, a level rarely exceeded in urban air in the United Kingdom (8h average levels of up to 15.8ppm, and max. 1h levels of up to 18.7ppm, have been measured in London, but the 10ppm level is not normally exceeded more than 5 days per year).
Descriptors (primary) United Kingdom; limitation of exposure; carbon monoxide
Descriptors (secondary) toxic effects; coronary diseases; criteria document; atmospheric pollution; determination in air; permissible levels
Document type F - Information notes, codes of practice, standards
Country / State or ProvinceUnited Kingdom
Subject(s) Toxic and dangerous substances
Broad subject area(s) Chemical safety
Browse category(ies) Carbon monoxide
Inorganic substances