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Carbon monoxide has been assessed in the context of Environmental Health Criteria (EHC 213, 1999). It was stated that:

“The physical and chemical properties of carbon monoxide suggest that its atmospheric removal occurs primarily by reaction with hydroxyl radicals. Almost all the carbon monoxide emitted into the atmosphere each year is removed by reactions with hydroxyl radicals (85%), by soils (10%) and by diffusion into the stratosphere.”

"Based on the global sources and sinks described above, the average atmospheric lifetime of carbon monoxide can be calculated to be about 2 months, with a range between 1 and 4 months. The lifetime, however, can vary enormously with latitude and season compared with its global average value. During winters at high and middle latitudes, carbon monoxide has a lifetime of more than a year, but during summers at middle latitudes, the lifetime may be closer to the average global lifetime of about 2 months. Moreover, in the tropics, the average lifetime of carbon monoxide is probably about 1 month” (EHC 213, 1999).