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Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Biology: The Dynamic Science (Mind...

4th Edition
Peter J. Russell + 2 others
ISBN: 9781305389892
Textbook Problem

Why is carbon monoxide potentially lethal?

Summary Introduction

To review:

The reason behind the lethal potentiality of carbon monoxide.

Introduction:

Carbon monoxide is a colorless and odorless gas, which is produced when fuels are incompletely burned, and released into the atmosphere by automobile exhausts, faulty furnaces, gas appliances or space heaters, and from cigarette smoke.

Explanation

As the concentration of carbon monoxide is high in the atmosphere, it will be inhaled from the atmosphere. The binding affinity of carbon monoxide for hemoglobin is greater than the binding affinity of oxygen for hemoglobin.

The more carbon monoxide is inhaled, the greater the binding of the carbon monoxide to the hemoglobin, displacing the bound oxygen from the hemoglobin.

The chemical equation shown below expresses the displacement of oxygen from the hemoglobin by the carbon monoxide:

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