Doctor insights on:
Acceptable Carbon Monoxide Levels
How to know if carbon monoxide and oxygen levels are the same at death as they are 6 days after, or does o2 deplete quicker?
Uncertain: We don't know the effects of low level co poisoning over time. It surprises many people to hear that smokers can have 10-12% of their blood saturated with carbon monoxide or even more in heavy smokers. Since it displaces oxygen from red blood cells, there are probably some long term consequences such as premature aging, but it hasn't been studied in a way that we can be certain. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
I got blood work done after a carbon monoxide leak was discovered at work and came back with a 2.5 level. Is this a high level for a non-smoker?
Not high, but...: Non-smokers in non-urban, non-industrial areas are probably under 1-2%. People living in urban, industrialized areas can be a little bit higher, so 2-3% sounds ok. Smokers can be at 4-8%, approximately. However, the half-life (how long it takes for a higher level to drop in half) is about 5 hours. The 2.5% could have been there always, or could have been a decrease from a level of 5%, 5 hours ago. ...Read more
Husband has end stage COPD also is building up carbon monoxide in his blood his doctor said hes at a toxic level also is sleeping alot what should i?
Hurts O2 delivery: Carbon monoxide acts by keeping red blood cells from picking up oxygen so it hurts you by starving the body for oxygen. Once the co separates off the red cell it starts working again and theprocess stops. If the lack of oxygen was severe enough to cause damage to parts of the body it will take time for that to be repaired, but otherwise there shouldn't be long-term problems. ...Read more
Instantaneous: Carbon monoxide does damage by binding to red blood cells, causing them to not be able to carry oxygen. It happens as soon as the CO contacts the blood and it will stay attached to the hemoglobin in the blood for many hours. It is reversed much faster when the person is treated by breathing 100% oxygen. It's normal to have a little CO in the blood - smokers have up to 15% (40% is lethal) ...Read more
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