This piece of research looks at low-level exposure to carbon monoxide (CO), how to improve understanding of what constitutes low-level, how can diagnosis be improved and how it can be better treated.

Low-level CO exposure may be much more widespread than estimated for the following reasons;

  • It is not known whether there is any safe low-level limit for CO exposure
  • It is unknown whether repeated exposure to CO is additive or cumulative
  • There are no reliable diagnostic tests or ‘biomarkers’ for low-level sub-acute CO exposure
  • The clinical symptoms of non-lethal CO toxicity are non-specific and easily confused with other medical conditions

This project addresses these four key gaps in the scientific knowledge with the objective of addressing the issue of low-level CO toxicity and the socio-economic cost to the UK.

The successful outcome of this pilot study is a package of preliminary data that addresses the question of the extent of low-level CO toxicity. This will provide results that can be used to apply for funding from other sources (e.g. Research Councils) to take the work forward to eventual clinical or diagnostic use.

Project in progress