6.7. Carbon moxide (CO)

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6.7. Carbon monoxide (CO)

6.7.1. Behaviour, effects, emissions

Carbon monoxide (CO) exerts its effects on health through its reaction with the haemoglobin of the blood. The affinity of haemoglobin is more than 200 times higher for CO than for oxygen, so that it replaces oxygen in the blood already at low concentrations.

The major sources to CO emissions is combustion of fuels. Poor combustion gives increased CO emissions. In urban areas, road traffic is normally by far the dominant source, and gasoline-powered vehicles (spark ignition engine) is the dominating vehicle group. CO emissions are high at idle and low, intermittent speeds, and decreases rapidly at higher speed. (Emissions increase again substantially at very high speeds, >100 km/h for non-catalyst cars). Other less important sources are biomass combustion, power stations, incineration. CO is slowly oxidised to CO2 in the atmosphere.

Human health effects range from strokes, unconsciousness and death of parts of the brain and the individual itself at very high exposures (as may occur accidentally e.g. in individual car garages), and to milder, behavioural effects (e.g. impaired learning, reduced vigilance, impaired complex task performance, increased reaction time) that may occur at CO levels that may arise in urban areas close to traffic during periods of poor atmospheric dispersion. Increased risk of certain effects on the cardiovascular system can be expected to begin at levels close to such peak ambient concentrations.


6.7.2. Air Quality Limit and Guide Values

There are no EU Limit or Guide values for CO. WHO Guideline values for CO are given in Table 6.27. WHO Guideline values are maximum values.


Table 6.27: WHO Guideline values for CO (mg/m3).

 

Averaging time Mean value
10 min 1001
œ h 601
1 h 301
8 h 10

1 Exposure at these concentrations should be for no longer than the indicated times and should not be repeated within 8 hours.


6.7.3. Urban and local CO concentrations

Concentrations

In Appendix B CO data from 12 countries are given. The stations are ranged according to the 98 percentile of hourly values. The stations with the highest values are given in Table 6.28. Also the maximum 1h and maximum 8h values are given, if available.

Differences in CO levels are probably due to different exposure to traffic at the monitoring stations. CO levels are shown in Figure 6.65-Figure 6.67.

Table 6.28: Maximum 1 h, maximum 8 h and 98 percentile 1 h CO values for 1993 for European cities ranged according to the 95 percentile values (µg/m3). (

 

Country

City

CO, year, 1h values
Name Class Station Max. 1h Max. 8h 98-percentile
Portugal Lisboa   Benéfica 57.1 18.1 25.3
Portugal Porto   Fac. Engenharia 38.2 11.4 25.3
Portugal Faro   Faro 27.4 10.9 21.5
Portugal Bar./Seixal   Hospital Velho 32.8 11.9 17.9
Greece Athens 1 Patission 147 33.3 22.6 15.6
Portugal Lisboa   Entrecampos 24.3 8.7 14
Greece Athens 1 Pireas Platia Dimotikou 28.9 18.1 11.5
Germany Wiesbaden 4 W-Ringkirche     10.3
Portugal Lisboa   Rua da Prata 16.4 5.2 10.2
Portugal Lisboa   Casal Ribeiro 14.5 5 10.1
Germany Braunschweig 4 Bohlweg     9.7
Portugal Lisboa   Olivais 16.3 3.6 9.4
Spain Barcelona 1 Molina Pl. 23.8 17.3 8.7
Portugal Porto   Campo Alegre 8.8 7.8 8
Germany Hannover 3 Sallstrasse     7.9
Germany Mainz-Mombach 4 Parcusstrasse     7.45
Portugal Funchal   Funchal 13.3 3.5 7.3
Greece Athens 1 Smyrni Cementry 26.9 9.7 7.2
Spain Madrid 1 Cuatro Caminos 17.2 10.3 7.2
Germany Düsseldorf 3 Düsseldorf-Mörsenbroich 22.8   6.8
Germany Kassel 4 Kassel-Süd     6.8
Portugal Lisboa   R. Sèculo 12.6 3.1 6.4
Germany Hannover 3 Göttinger Strasse     6.4
Germany München 2 Effnerplatz 18.5   6.3
Germany München 2 L.Kiesselbach-Platz 21.8   6.2
Spain Madrid 1 Plaza España 15.1 8.4 6
Germany Essen 3 Essen-Ost 17.5   5.8
Spain Madrid 1 Carlos V 15.1 8.6 5.8
Germany München 2 Pasing 21   5.7
Germany München 2 Stachus 15.2   5.7
Germany München 2 Moosach 19.9   5.5
The Netherlands Utrecht   Witte Vrouwenstraat 14.5 9.4 5.5
Germany Bremen 3 Bremen-Verkehr I     5.5
Finland Jyväskylä 5 Lyseo 15.6 9.8 5.3
Germany Ludwigshafen-Frankental 4 Goerdelerplatz     5.25
Portugal Lisboa   Beato 9.1 3.1 5.1
Germany Hamburg 2 Stresemannstrasse 9.7 6 5
Germany Chemnitz   Chemmitz-Mitte 2     4.99
Spain Madrid 1 Plaza Castilla 11.1 6.6 4.8
Germany Düsseldorf 3 Düsseldorf-Reisholz 17.3   4.7
Germany Essen 3 Essen-Altendorf 15.2   4.7
Portugal Lisboa   Chelas 8.1 2.1 4.7
Germany Essen 3 Essen-Vogelheim 18   4.6
Germany Frankfurt 3 Ffm-Höhenstrasse     4.6
Spain Barcelona 1 Poblé nov 14.2 6.1 4.4
Spain Madrid 1 Arturo Soria 25.6 10.6 4.3
Germany Kassel 4 Kassel-Nord     4.3
Germany Duisburg 3 Duisburg-Walsum 12.4   4.2
Germany Leipzig   Leipzig-Mitte 2     4.2
United Kingdom Belfast 4 Belfast centre 16.9 12.3 4

Figure 6.65: Maximum 1 h, maximum 8 h and 98 percentile 1 h CO values for 1993 for selected stations and cities (µg/m3).


Figure 6.66: CO 1h maximum values in selected cities (µg/m3).


Figure 6.67: CO 8h maximum values in selected cities (µg/m3).


Exceedances

EU has no Limit or Guide values for CO. Table 6.29 shows stations with exceedances of WHO Guideline values. Exceedances of the WHO Guideline values are reported from Greece, Portugal, Spain and the UK

Table 6.29: Exceedances of WHO Guide Values for CO.

Country City Station Max. 1h
> 30
Max. 8h
> 10
Greece Athens Patission 147 33.3 22.6
    Pireas Platia Dimotikou   18.1
Portugal Bar./Seixal Hospital Velho 32.8 11.9
  Faro Faro   10.9
  Lisboa Benéfica 57.1 18.1
  Porto Fac. Engenharia 38.2 11.4
Spain Barcelona Molina Pl.   17.3
  Madrid Arturo Soria   10.6
    Cuatro Caminos   10.3
United Kingdom Belfast Belfast centre   12.3
  Leeds Leeds centre   10.4

Trends

Trend figures are presented for the Netherlands, Germany (Bremen) and Greece (Figure 6.68-Figure 6.70). Stations exposed to heavy traffic in Utrecht and Athens show a slightly decreasing trends, except perhaps for maximum 1 h values.


Figure 6.68: CO trend in Rotterdam and Utrecht, the Netherlands 1981-1994 (µg/m3). APIS data.


Figure 6.69: CO trend in Bremen, Germany 1987-1993 (µg/m3) 98 percentile
1 h values from Bremen State report.


Figure 6.70: CO trend in Greece 1983-1993 (µg/m3). APIS data.

 

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REPORT SERIES REPORT NO. OR ../95 ISBN-
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132

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TITLE PROJECT LEADER

Steinar Larssen

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Gordon McInnes

REPORT PREPARED FOR:
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ABSTRACT
Air pollution monitoring data from 21 European countries are summarized, based upon Apis and EoI data and national reports for SO
2, NO2, black smoke, SPM/TSP/PM10, O3, CO and Pb. Exceedances of EU Limits, EU Guide Values and WHO Guideline Values are also summarized for each country.
NORWEGIAN TITLE
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ABSTRACT (in Norwegian)





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