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Carbon Monoxide (CO) -
NAAQS Implementation

Information provided for informational purposes onlyNote: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, and (at much higher levels) poisonous gas, formed when carbon in fuels is not burned completely. It is a product of motor vehicle exhaust, which contributes about 60 percent of all CO emissions nationwide. High concentrations of CO generally occur in areas with heavy traffic congestion. In cities, as much as 95 percent of all CO emissions may emanate from automobile exhaust. Other sources of CO emissions include industrial processes such as carbon black manufacturing, non-transportation fuel combustion, and natural sources such as wildfires. Woodstoves, cooking, cigarette smoke, and space heating are sources of CO in indoor environments. Peak CO concentrations typically occur during the colder months of the year when CO automotive emissions are greater and nighttime inversion conditions are more frequent.

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