Carbon Monoxide – dubbed “The Silent Killer” is a colourless and odourless gas – highly toxic to human beings. It’s a common pollutant in city air, coming mainly from vehicle exhaust emissions.

But what if “CO, in small doses, is a boon to the well-being of urbanites, better equipping them to deal with environmental stress”?

Recent research from professor Izhak Schnell and colleagues* at the Geography and Human Environment Department of Tel Aviv University, (published in the journal Environmental Monitoring and Assessment) indicates that : “… low levels of the poisonous gas can have a narcotic effect that helps citydwellers cope with other harmful environmental factors of an urban environment, such as off-the-chart noise levels”.

The quotes are from this press release entitled :‘Carbon monoxide — the silent calmer?’ from EurekAlert, 8-Nov-2011.

Although the press release fails to mention the title of the paper in Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, it may well be this one.

*The research was carried out in cooperation with Dr. Oded Potchter and Yaron Yaakov from the Department of Geography and the Human Environment, Prof. Haggai Hermesh from the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Yoram Epstein from the Heller Institute of Medical Research, and Dr. Shmuel Brener from the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies.