Dangers of Carbon Monoxide

Topics: Carbon monoxide, Oxygen, National Ambient Air Quality Standards Pages: 4 (1176 words) Published: June 20, 2013
DANGERS OF CARBON MONOXIDE

Introduction

Human beings, animals and other living things exist and interact among themselves in a common environment. These environmental constituents are interdependent on each other, thus maintaining the natural balance of the ecosystem. As a result of over-population, rapid industrializations, and other human activities, earth became loaded with diverse pollutants that were released into the environment, giving rise to pollution. Environmental pollution can be defined as the undesirable change in physical, chemical and biological characteristics of air, land and water. Significant sources of air pollution in urban areas, towns and cities of developing countries like Nigeria may include but are not limited to emissions from motor vehicles and generator exhaust. Environmental characteristics such as topography, altitude, and anthropogenic activity such as traffic, industrial effluents and proximity to sources of pollution, have considerable influence on the abundance, residence time and retention of tropical trace gases over an area. Criteria air contaminants (CAC), or criteria pollutants, are set of air pollutants that cause smog, acid rain and other health hazards. History of CO as a criterion pollutant dated back to 1971 when the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) set the first national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) for CO. In Nigeria, CO was identified as CAC after the formation of Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) in 1992 and Nigerian Ambient Air Quality standards was set. Carbon monoxide became a major air pollutant both indoors and outdoors because of increased use of bio-fuel as a major source of energy for cooking, electricity generation and transportation. In addition 80% of carbon monoxide and 40% of the nitrogen oxides are produced when gasoline and diesel fuels were burnt and Petrol creates 28 times more CO than diesel. The air we breathe should normally contain 21% oxygen,...
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