March 1, 2022 | 1year | General
Carbon monoxide is produced when there is not enough oxygen available to provide complete combustion of a fuel. This can be very dangerous in enclosed spaces as it leads to poorer combustion and the production of carbon monoxide instead of carbon dioxide.
Carbon monoxide is also produced in cigarette smoke.
Carbon monoxide enters the bloodstream through the lungs and reduces oxygen delivery to the body’s organs and tissues. This happens because carbon monoxide joins to the haemoglobin molecule in the red blood cells much more easily than oxygen – it takes the place of the oxygen.
The health threat from carbon monoxide at low levels is most serious for those who suffer from cardiovascular disease, such as angina pectoris. At much higher levels, carbon monoxide can be poisonous. Even healthy people may be affected. Visual impairment, reduced work capacity, reduced manual dexterity, poor learning ability and difficulty in performing complex tasks are all associated with exposure to carbon monoxide. At extreme levels it causes death.
To find out more about the incredible world of Biology enrol on our Online GCSE Biology Course and start learning.