The amount of CO produced in the body naturally is very small. This is responsible for a low but normal "background" COHb concentration of 0.5% - 1.4% in all of us (non-smokers breathing unpolluted air), whether we are living in New York, Montana, or Antarctica. Newborns have a higher rate of CO production because "extra" hemoglobin is being broken down in the weeks after birth.
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