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carbon monoxide

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A colourless almost odourless gas that is very poisonous. When breathed in it combines with haemoglobin in the red blood cells to form carboxyhaemoglobin, which is bright red in colour. This compound is chemically stable and thus the haemoglobin can no longer combine with oxygen. Carbon monoxide is present in coal gas and motor exhaust fumes. Formula: CO.

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