Medicine: The Poison We Breathe

Great numbers of Americans are inhaling carbon monoxide, a notoriously poisonous gas, in quantities far above levels normally considered safe. That fact, reported in the A.M.A. Journal last week by a team of researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin, is not surprising in itself. It has long been known that cigarette smokers, workers in certain industries and people in the dense traffic areas of major cities breathe in abnormally large amounts of carbon monoxide. But the Wisconsin study reveals that surprisingly many nonsmokers, office workers and residents of rural communities are also exposed to high concentrations of the gas.

Carbon monoxide...

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