If you have an ACS member number, please enter it here so we can link this account to your membership. (optional)

ACS values your privacy. By submitting your information, you are gaining access to C&EN and subscribing to our weekly newsletter. We use the information you provide to make your reading experience better, and we will never sell your data to third party members.



Carbon Monoxide Standards Retained

by Glenn Hess
August 22, 2011 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 89, Issue 34

The existing national air quality standards for carbon monoxide adequately protect public health and the environment, EPA said last week in announcing its decision to retain the 40-year-old rules. Since 1980, levels of CO in the air have fallen by 80%, mostly as a result of motor vehicle emissions controls, the agency said. The current health standards are 9 ppm measured over eight hours and 35 ppm measured over one hour. “CO levels at monitors across the country are quite low and are well within the standards, showing that federal, state, and local efforts to reduce CO pollution have been successful and are providing important public health protections to all Americans,” EPA said in a statement. Activist groups such as the American Lung Association called the agency’s decision a missed opportunity to strengthen the regulations. “This is a disappointing step, and a sad 40th anniversary for these weak national standards, set in 1971,” said ALA President and CEO Charles D. Connor. However, EPA said the standards are “consistent with the advice and recommendations” made by an independent panel of expert scientists who advise the agency, the Clean Air Act Scientific Advisory Committee.


This article has been sent to the following recipient:

Chemistry matters. Join us to get the news you need.