Carbon Monoxide Headquarters

Death from CO in Fire and Non-Fire Situations:

Uptake of Carbon Monoxide at Acutely High CO Levels:

For short exposures at high CO concentrations when the blood CO concentration is well below the saturation level, an approximate prediction of COHb concentration can be made by assuming a linear relationship of CO concentration to uptake. Note that this is quite different from uptake at lower CO concentrations and when blood COHb may already be nearing saturation, in which case the uptake curves generated are curvi-linear as modeled by the Coburn-Forster-Kane equation. One equation that has been used is the following:

% COHb = ( 3.317 x 10-5 ) . ( ppm CO )1.036 . ( RMV ) . ( t )


ppm CO = air carbon monoxide conc. in ppm

RMV (Respiratory Minute Volume) = vol. of air breathed (L/min.)

t = exposure time (minutes)

From: Stewart, R.D., Peterson, J.E., Fisher, T.N., Hosko, M.J., Baretta, E.D., Dodd, H.C., Herrmann, A.A., Experimental human exposure to high concentrations of carbon monoxide, Arch. Environ. Health, 26, 1-7, 1973.

...... Last changed 01/02/00

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