Carbon monoxide in air

Carbon monoxide is taken up by blood much more readily than oxygen is, so relatively small amounts of it in inhaled air can affect essential body processes. Prolonged exposure to carbon monoxide can cause tissue damage. People suffering from cardiovascular disease are particularly at risk.

Sources of carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide is a widespread pollutant that comes from the burning of fuels that contain carbon, such as petrol, gas, oil or coal. Major sources of carbon monoxide are motor vehicles, boilers, heating appliances, industrial equipment and incineration.

Current standards for carbon monoxide

The current eight-hour standard for carbon monoxide is 9 ppm (parts per million).

Goal for carbon monoxide

Carbon monoxide should not exceed the standard more than once (one day) per year.

How much carbon monoxide do we detect in Victoria?

Carbon monoxide levels have been consistently below standards in recent years and existing controls appear to be adequate.

Carbon monoxide air quality categories

The carbon monoxide (CO) data on our website will be shown in different colours, depending on the amount of CO in the air. The categories range from green – when levels of CO are low and air quality is very good – through to black – when high levels of CO result in very poor air quality.

Air quality category CO ppm
Very good 0–2.9
Good 3.0–5.8
Fair 5.9–8.9
Poor 9.0–13.4
Very poor 13.5 or greater

Page last updated on 12 Sep 2017