What Is CO in Chemistry?

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CO is the molecular formula for carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas, and continuous exposure to high concentrations of carbon monoxide can be fatal to both humans and animals.

Carbon monoxide is often referred to as a senseless killer because it cannot be easily detected by human senses. The toxic gas is odorless, colorless and tasteless. When carbon monoxide is inhaled, it overpowers oxygen's ability to bind to hemoglobin molecules in red blood cells. This bond prevents the body and brain from receiving much-needed oxygen. The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include nausea, dizziness and headaches.