Carbon Monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, yet
poisonous gas, resulting from incomplete fuel combustion. Anything
that burns fossil fuels, such as wood, gasoline or diesel, produces
this gas. Motor vehicle emissions account for approximately 80% of
the carbon monoxide emissions in Maricopa County.
Carbon Monoxide levels in Maricopa County are higher in the
wintertime due to temperature inversions and the Valley's
topography. Air usually becomes cooler as one moves higher in the
atmosphere. A temperature inversion occurs when a layer of cooler
air is 'trapped' underneath a layer of warmer air. An inversion
keeps pollutants from vehicles, fireplaces, and other sources close
to the ground, thus increasing the chances for carbon monoxide and
particulates to reach unhealthy levels.
Through regional efforts, levels of carbon monoxide in the Valley
have been below the health based standards for since 1997.
Health Effects from Carbon Monoxide
Carbon monoxide enters the bloodstream and reduces oxygen
delivery to the body's organs and tissues. The health threat
from exposure to carbon monoxide is most serious for those who
suffer from cardiovascular disease and/or anemia. Healthy
individuals are also affected, but only at higher levels of
Things that you can do to reduce Carbon Monoxide include:
- Reduce your amount of driving; particularly in the
- Keep your vehicle engine tuned.
- Replace gasoline lawn mowers and other lawn equipment with
electric lawn equipment.
- Use hand tools for lawn and garden maintenance.
- Do not use your wood burning fire place on
Maricopa County Air
Pollution Advisory days.