Carbon Monoxide (CO)
Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, tasteless, colorless gas emitted by any form of combustion. Common sources include:
It deprives the body of oxygen by reducing the bloods capacity to carry oxygen. It can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea, listlessness. In high doses, it may cause death.
Carbon Monoxide National and State Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS)
Identical primary (health-based) and secondary (welfare-based) NAAQS for carbon monoxide (CO) were set in 1971 at 9 ppm, 8-hour average, and at 35 ppm, 1-hour average, neither to be exceeded more than once a year. In Washington, parts of Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Spokane and Yakima were designated nonattainment for the 1971 CO standard. The areas met the standard and were redesignated attainment between 1996 and 2004. In 1985, EPA announced the decision not to revise the primary CO NAAQS and at the same time to revoke the secondary standard.
After the most recent review of the CO NAAQS, EPA proposed to retain the current primary standards. After review of the air quality criteria, EPA further concludes that no secondary standard should be set for CO at this time. EPA is also making changes to the ambient air monitoring requirements for CO, including those related to network design, and is updating, without substantive change, aspects of the Federal reference method.
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