The carbon dioxide , or better known as CO2 , is a colorless and odorless gas that is composed of an atom of carbon and two of oxygen . Despite its bad reputation, CO2 is essential for life on earth, because if plants do not exist, they will not live and will not produce the oxygen we need to breathe.
CO2 is not toxic, in the sense of damage or poisoning by inhalation, since it is a gas that living beings exhale during respiration. This is found naturally in ambient air in concentrations that usually range between 300 ppm to 550 ppm, depending on whether we measure it in an urban or rural environment.
We must bear in mind that CO2 causes the displacement of oxygen and in high concentrations it can produce asphyxiation. In indoor air, carbon dioxide is a great indicator of air quality, but it acts on its renewal.
This is how carbon dioxide affects health
In health, CO2 can produce asphyxia due to the displacement of oxygen, but this only occurs in situations with very high concentrations capable of destroying oxygen and reducing its concentration by under the 20%.
Therefore, high concentrations in, close to 30. 000 ppm, carbon dioxide can produce the following symptoms:
- Lack of concentration.
- Breathing problems.
We must point out that people with asthma or respiratory problems should try to breathe or n air with low concentrations of CO2 to avoid possible health problems.
In this sense, in Spain there is no regulation that regulates the level of CO2 in the schools. This interferes with the relationship between poor school performance, which is why in France they already have this issue regulated, something that should reach Spain to care for children who tend to have problems the higher the levels of carbon dioxide in the air. .
In this way, the levels of CO2 that we can find in the environment are related to the following characteristics:
- Levels in outdoor air
- Indoor sources
- Occupancy levels
- Ventilation rates.
Diseases caused by carbon dioxide
In case the results are abnormal, it may indicate that your body has an electrolyte imbalance or a problem removing carbon dioxide from the lungs. According to the health portal Medlineplus, a excess CO2 in the blood can lead to diseases such as:
- Lung disease
- Kidney disorders
- Cushing syndrome: In Cushing syndrome, the body produces too much of a hormone called cortisol. This causes a variety of symptoms, such as muscle weakness, vision problems, and high blood pressure
- Adrenal gland disorders: The glands Adrenals are on top of the kidneys and control heart rate, blood pressure and other body functions
- Hormonal disorders
- Alkalosis: Excess base (alkalinity) in the blood
If the results are not within normal limits, it does not mean that you necessarily need a treatment. Thus, your doctor will be in charge of understanding the meaning of the results and establishing a medication or solution to the problem.