Air Quality: EPA's Integrated Science Assessments (ISAs)
Carbon Monoxide (CO)
(PDF, 593 pp, 29 MB,
Carbon Monoxide (CO) is a gas that occurs both in the Earth's upper atmosphere and at ground level where it is a key component of urban smog. Ground-level CO triggers a variety of health problems even at very low levels, may cause permanent lung damage after long-term exposure, and damages plants and ecosystems.
Peak CO levels typically occur during hot, dry, stagnant summertime conditions. Millions of Americans live in areas where CO levels exceed EPA's health-based air quality standards, primarily in parts of the Northeast, the Lake Michigan area, parts of the Southeast, southeastern Texas, and parts of California. Peak CO levels typically occur during hot, dry, stagnant summertime conditions.
EPA's Carbon Monoxide research efforts are focused on improving emissions estimates, determining health and ecological effects, and improving modeling capabilities. EPA's National Center for Environmental Assessment periodically evaluates the latest research concerning the public health and welfare effects of CO and publishes the most up-to-date findings in an assessment called the Integrated Science Assessment for Carbon Monoxide. This document provides the scientific basis for the establishment of the most current national air quality standards for Carbon Monoxide. [See the history of CO for more detailed information]
- Basic information about Carbon Monoxide
- Carbon Monoxide research at EPA
- Carbon Monoxide regulations
- National Carbon Monoxide Air Quality Forecasts
- Clean Air Act