Carbon Monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that is formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuel.  Most carbon monoxide in the atmosphere comes from motor vehicles and so is higher in areas where traffic is concentrated.

Carbon monoxide reduces the ability of the blood to carry oxygen around our bodies and so is very dangerous especially in confined spaces.

The air quality limit for carbon monoxide is 10 milligrams per cubic metre and this limit has never been exceeded at any monitoring station in Ireland .

The graph below shows maximum eight hour concentrations measured in Dublin and Cork from 2005 to 2018. All levels recorded are within the limit value and show a slight downward trend in that period.

Carbon monoxide (CO) emissions continue to decline, driven by major reductions due to three-way catalysts in gasoline vehicles in Road Transport, the principal source of CO, and a large decrease in the use of solid fuels for space heating in the Residential sector. National total CO emissions have reduced by 79.0 per cent over the period 1990 to 2018 (EPA, 2020)

Carbon monoxide is dangerous in poorly ventilated areas where fossil fuel combustion is taking place. 

Carbon Monoxide Concentration
Courtesy EPA ©

Carbon Monoxide in the home

Carbon monoxide is a highly dangerous gas which you can't see or smell. Carbon monoxide poisoning can happen in the home as a result of inhaling smoke from fires. Details about carbon monoxide poisoning, recommended safety precautions and the importance of a carbon monoxide alarm are outlined on

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