Carbon Monoxide (CO)

Contact: Air Quality Related Issues: Robert Irvine, 517-648-7367
Agency: Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy

Carbon monoxide is produced primarily from transportation, fuel burning for space heating, and electrical generation. Industrial processes -- as well as wood, agricultural, and refuse burning -- also contribute to emissions of carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide can exert toxic effects on humans by limiting oxygen distribution to organs and tissues. People with impaired circulatory systems are more vulnerable at lower levels than healthy individuals. Exposure to carbon monoxide can impair visual perception, work capacity, manual dexterity, learning ability, and the performance of complex tasks.

Statewide annual carbon monoxide levels over the last decade generally have remained at one-third of the standard. A peak in the statewide average level during 1994 was due to two exceedances of the standard at one air monitoring site in Detroit. No exceedances of either 1-hour or 8-hour carbon monoxide standards have occurred in the last ten years. All areas in Michigan have been in attainment with the 1-hour and 8-hour standards since August 30, 1999.