A guide to carbon monoxide...

What is carbon monoxide?

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, tasteless, non-irritating toxic gas.

Carbon monoxide is also produced in small quantities by the body and is essential to proper cellular functioning.

Carbon monoxide is produced in response to stress of any kind - including environmental, sensory, physical, infectious, and mental stressors.

Carbon monoxide produced in the body can be measured in exhaled breath. Women produce 3 to 5 times more carbon monoxide during their premenstrual phase.

Carbon monoxide also occurs naturally at low levels in the air we breathe.

Exposure to unsafe levels of carbon monoxide is dangerous to people and animals (as well as other oxygen breathing organisms).

There are many potential sources of carbon monoxide in the modern world.

Carbon monoxide poisoning can cause a large number of symptoms while in the body as well as short term symptoms and long term effects caused by damage to the brain, other areas of the nervous system, heart, endocrine system, and cells in the body.

What is carbon monoxide made of?

Each carbon monoxide molecule is composed of a single carbon atom (C), which is bonded to a single oxygen atom (O). The chemical symbol for carbon monoxide is CO.

What is carbon monoxide not?

Carbon monoxide is very different and not to be confused with its much-less-deadly cousin, carbon dioxide (CO2).

Carbon monoxide has a typical "lifespan" of several months in Earth's atmosphere and eventually reacts with oxygen (O2) to form carbon dioxide (CO2).

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