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Anyone know of reseach linking CO and loss of athletic performance?
Last Post 12/17/2013 10:24 PM by Carbon Gecko. 6 Replies.
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12/17/2013 05:00 PM
I have a friend who is a union plumber. He just took his refresher course (I don't know what there regular courses are called). The fellow who taught the course specialized in carbon monoxide awareness. Talked extensively about CO in the home, about typical sources and a lot about industry and government collaborating to keep the public uninformed.

I learned that gas stoves are notorious for being real CO sources; that in use are produce far more CO than shows up on the specs. (The flame is tested with no pan. That pan cools the flame down into a much less efficient temp and hence far more CO produced.) I have noticed lingering very low level headaches after cooking with the gas stove I've had since July.) The instructor also pointed out several CO facts I learned years ago; that CO attaches far more readily to our hemoglobin than oxygen does and does not release when the cell returns to the lungs. In fact, it takes about 4 hours for the CO to detach from the hemoglobin. Another very sobering tidbit: Readily available and up-to-code CO alarms are programmed to not respond to spikes and only go off ofter long exposure. The industry joke is the the alarm is to warn the rescuer that CO killed the victim and that he needs to take precautions.

So my question is: are there any studies documenting loss of athletic performance, VO2 max and the like from CO exposure?



12/17/2013 05:18 PM
Here's a partial answer:
C=O is shaped like O=O (O2, oxygen molecule), and also sticks to the heme molecule in hemoglobin that allows O2 transport by red blood cells. What makes CO potentially dangerous is not that it's toxic per se, but rather that CO sticks to heme much, much more strongly than O2. Not for ever, but for a while. So prolonged exposure to significant levels will tie up enough O2 carrying sites that not enough O2 can get to the places it's needed. Remove the exposure and it clears from the body. BTW, the body produces a bit of CO naturally. Tiny amounts are not a problem from a medical point of view. I wouldn't worry about your plumber friend. For sure blocking off enough O2 binding sites could hurt peak athletic performance.
Orange Crush


12/17/2013 05:33 PM
"Readily available and up-to-code CO alarms are programmed to not respond to spikes and only go off ofter long exposure."

Minutes to tens of minutes depending on concentration.

If you live in a city you are sure to see decline in performance largely due to car emissions. That's pretty well documented.


12/17/2013 06:12 PM
I misunderstood the question… I thought this was about Colorado and legal pot decreasing athletic performance.



12/17/2013 07:05 PM
And union plumbers. Just say no to crack.
Yo Mike


12/17/2013 09:39 PM

I was gonna give Dale the Win, butt I think LSD tied him at the line


12/17/2013 10:24 PM
Back in my exercise physiology days we measured CO concentrations during in city living and post a 21 day backpacking trip. The in city values were definitely higher. I would suspect that at high levels of performance high enough to make a difference. You can make a conspiracy out of it if you want. Be happy you don't live in a large city in China.
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