Molecular formula: CO
Characteristics: The gas is tasteless, colourless, odourless, and flammable.
Occurrence: It is released during an incomplete combustion reaction, for example, in transport or industry, or in households as a result of leaks from combustion devices without an exhaust, for instance, at the cooker. Forest fires are yet another significant source.
Impact: Carbon monoxide affects the heart and cardiovascular and nervous systems. Toxicity depends on exposure time and concentration. At low exposure concentrations, a person feels fatigue and chest pain. Exposure to higher levels may lead to blurred vision, headache, vertigo, and sickness. Poisoning manifests itself by the darkening of the skin, spasms, and coma.
Limit: The EU has introduced a maximum safe concentration limit of 10,000 µg/m3 for 8 hours.