Health and Environmental Impacts of CO
Carbon monoxide can cause harmful health effects by reducing oxygen delivery to the body's organs (like the heart and brain) and tissues.
Cardiovascular Effects: The health threat from lower levels of CO is most serious for those who suffer from heart disease, like angina, clogged arteries, or congestive heart failure. For a person with heart disease, a single exposure to CO at low levels may cause chest pain and reduce that person's ability to exercise; repeated exposures may contribute to other cardiovascular effects.
Central Nervous System Effects: High levels of CO can affect even healthy people. People who breathe high levels of CO can develop vision problems, reduced ability to work or learn, reduced manual dexterity, and difficulty performing complex tasks. At extremely high levels, CO is poisonous and can cause death.
Smog: CO contributes to the formation of smog, ground-level ozone, which can trigger serious respiratory problems.