Carbon Monoxide: The Health Risks and Environmental Problems Essay

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Carbon monoxide has been an environmental problem ever since cavemen started fires in poorly ventilated caves. Those cave men would agonizingly learn the environmental and health issues that arise with the combustion and inhilation of carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide is a deadly, colorless, tasteless, odorless gas that is caused due to the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons. Genereally carbon monoxide has a short life span, because when it goes up inot the atmosphere it becomes oxidated and becomes carbon dioxide (CO2). Concentrations of CO in the atmosphere increase during the winter months due to the utilizations of heating systems. Chemicially, it is very rare for carbon to decompose into carbon and oxygen due to it's really short bond length, only 0.111 nanometers. Thus the bond is very stong. Carbon monoxide has three resonance structures that includes a partial triple bond character (C-O, C=O, C triple bond O).

Ever since combustion was part of how society functioned, carbon monoxide has been in the atmosphere. However prior to the start of the industrial revolution the carbon monoxide emmisions were so small the earth was able to manage and regulate the molecules. However with the boom in the industrial revolution in the twentieth century, carbon monoxide emissions have been steadily rising up to the point where they have become a serious environmental and health threat.

Most carbon monoxide gas comes from the incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons. In complete combustion the only products should be carbon dioxide, water, and sometimes unaffected nitrogen. However when hydrocarbons do not completely combust carbon monoxide is formed and released into the air. Most carbon monoxide come from internal combustion e...

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...the atmosphere, because the carbon monoxide reacts with atmospheric constituents that would otherwise destroy those compounds. Aside from affecting the environment due to atmospheric gases, carbon monoxie generally reacts with oxygen in the air and forms carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide in the air is main responsible for many of the enviromental problems on earth. Therefore, with elevating concentrations of carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide will also increase drastically.Carbon monoxide is also a contributing factor to the smog urban areas experience, this smog can lead to respiratory problems.

Even though there has been a lot done to reduce the about carbon monoxide in the the air; new technologies still have to be created to eliminate or reduce the amount of carbon monoxide already in the air. Currently, all there is available are preventative technologies.

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