Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Physico-Chemical Principles and Environmental Applications
Carbon monoxide has been called a pedagogical poison because its mechanism of action is simple and can be taught in introductory chemistry, biology and health sciences. Carbon monoxide’s affinity for hemoglobin is 220 times greater than that of oxygen and an exposure to a partial carbon monoxide pressure of only 1 mm Hg replaces more than half the oxygen on hemoglobin with CO*. A person in an atmosphere with 0.05% CO dies in eight hours, at a concentration of 0.1% death comes within an hour (Shephard, 1983; Ellenhorn and Barceloux, 1988).
KeywordsCarbon Monoxide Oxygen Transport Fractional Saturation Oxyhemoglobin Dissociation Curve Carboxyhemoglobin Level
Monod Wyman and Changeux
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