Toxicity of carbon monoxide

D. Gorman, W. Russell, P. Langston, R. Upton, W. Runciman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Carbon monoxide is the most common domestic and industrial poison in Australia. Despite this incidence and the neuropsychiatric sequelae often seen in survivors, the toxicity of carbon monoxide is not understood. Consequently, markers of severity are not available and the ideal treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning is controversial. Most theories of carbon monoxide toxicity, and hence treatment regimes, are based on an assumption that the predominant mechanism of toxicity is an anaemic hypoxia mechanism. However, data from past and ongoing research at the Royal Adelaide Hospital are inconsistent with these theories and suggest a direct tissue toxicity. These studies aim to lead to the identification of a marker of poisoning severity and the development of rational treatment regimens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-174
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaemic hypoxia
  • Carbon monoxide (CO)
  • Carboxyhaemoglobin
  • Hypoxic hypoxia
  • Toxicity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Gorman, D., Russell, W., Langston, P., Upton, R., & Runciman, W. (1993). Toxicity of carbon monoxide. Journal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand, 9(2), 167-174.