Name one chemical property of carbon monoxide and link it to one of its health or environment affects?

1 Answer
Jan 19, 2018


It's a fairly complex answer, but the short version is that it binds permanently to hemoglobin.


Oxygen in our lungs binds to the hemoglobin in our red cells, travels through the body and is released where it needs to be.

Carbon dioxide, on the other hand, permanently bonds to the hemoglobin, making that red cell inactive.

This can lead to asphyxiation even in the presence of plenty of oxygen, because there are no available red cells to carry oxygen.

The hemoglobin with carbon monioxide bound to it is a brighter red than that with oxygen (or nothing) bound to it, so one of the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning is bright red skin and nailbeds.