Q. What is the normal level of carbon monoxide in the body after a leak?

Answered by
Dr. Arul Amuthan L
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on Jan 02, 2020

Hi doctor,

Recently been concerned about a carbon monoxide leak in my pick-up. Recently after a 3-hour interstate drive, I stopped and did a carboxyhemoglobin blood test, the results came back at 2.3 %. I felt that was on the high side of normal, so I took it to another exhaust place, he claimed it had a small leak, and repaired it. so this past week we took it on another 3 hour drive. This time my wife and I both tested again, mine came back at 2.2 and the wifes at 2.8 %. Is this normal after driving this distance or should I be concerned?



Welcome to

Carboxyhemoglobin level is raised by various reasons, and the inhalation of carbon monoxide is one of the reason. Our body has many mechanism to increase carboxyhemoglobin level. For you and your wife, the level is normal, and nothing to worry. Lab to lab variation, intra-instrumental variation human physiological variations are the reason for different values at different time points.

In case of carbon monoxide poisoning, breathing difficulties, bluish discoloration of body (blood) are commonly seen. In such case just inhalation of fresh air can be helpful. In such cases the carboxyhemoglobin level is higher (than your levels). So I suggest to leave the worry. Go for brisk walking in fresh air daily and practice pranayama to balance the carboxyhemoglobin levels. If you want to repeat the blood test, can be done after some days. If the value is not doubled (below the doubled level), then it is normal. If values are doubled or more, only then it is the toxic influence.

Was this answer helpful?


Same symptoms doesn’t mean you have the same problem. Consult a doctor now!

Related Questions:
Breathing Difficulty - Signs, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

.. disorders result in difficulty breathing. Read the article below to learn about the signs of difficulty breathing .. ...   Read full

My husband was confused in the morning and kept asking the same questions. Why?

.. understand your concern. According to your statement, your husband has been suffering from confusion, repeating the same type of questions, even getting the answers to those questions, lack of sleep for a few days, and difficulty in remembering. ...   Read full

Long-Term Effects of Smoke Inhalation - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Methemoglobin and carboxyhemoglobin levels are also checked for diagnosing carbon monoxide poisoning ...   Read full

Also Read Answers From:

Also Read

Improving the Health and Wellbeing of People Living With Neglected Tropical Diseases
Neglected tropical diseases can be efficiently treated with various cross-sectoral public health interventions to improv...  Read more»
Holi Colors - Are They Safe?
Holi is known as the festival of colors. But are the colors worth playing with? Let us find out.  Read more»
Onions - Nutrition, Health Benefits, and Side Effects
Onions are an imperative ingredient for most of the main course dishes. Read the article below to learn about them more.  Read more»

Ask your health query to a Wellness Expert online?

Ask a Toxicologist Now

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Disclaimer: No content published on this website is intended to be a substitute for professional medical diagnosis, advice or treatment by a trained physician. Seek advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with questions you may have regarding your symptoms and medical condition for a complete medical diagnosis. Do not delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice because of something you have read on this website. Read our Editorial Process to know how we create content for health articles and queries.