Carbon Monoxide is very toxic. When CO bonds with hemoglobin (the molecule in red blood cells responsible for oxygen deliery to cells and the removal of CO2 from the body) the CO molecule does not release like O2 or CO2 and takes that hemoglobin molecule out of commission. At small levels this isn’t really a problem but if the exposure is heavy enough or over a long period of time your body will no longer be able to deliver O2 to the cells and the cells will die from lack of O2 (anoxemia). CO2 on the other hand has to be of such high concentration that you suffocat due to lack of O2 in order to be immediatly toxic.
CO is a product of combution with to low of O2 in the envrionment. The molecule is very reactive and can react with other molecules and create some pretty nasty pollutants which is why it is a traffic congestion pollutant.
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