Preliminary Studies of the Effects of Carbon Monoxide on Vigilance in Man

  • J. F. O’Hanlon
Part of the Environmental Science Research book series (ESRH, volume 5)


Within the last ten years, several authors have reported finding behavioral impairment as a result of carbon monoxide exposures which produce 5-10% carboxyhemoglobin levels (Schulte, 1963; Beard and Wertheim, 1967). Others have reported no impairment in individuals showing the same COHb levels (Stewart et al, 1970; O’Donnell et al, 1971a, 1971b). We were cognizant of the controversy created by those conflicting results when we began this study. Yet it was not our intention to resolve it. Our purpose was more limited: We sought to determine whether CO exposures which simulate those experienced by urban motorists in “normal” and severely polluted air affect the unusually stress-sensitive human ability for maintaining a high level of vigilance in a monotonous environment.


Carbon Monoxide False Alarm Rate Monitoring Task Cortical Arousal COHb Level 
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Copyright information

© University of Rochester 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. F. O’Hanlon
    • 1
  1. 1.Human Factors Research, Inc., Goleta, California and the Institute of Environmental StressUniversity of California at Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA

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