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4 Carbon Dioxide Facts (and Myths)

Updated on August 31, 2015

Carbon dioxide is a deadly poisonous gas which can cause an instant death… oh really? I don’t think so. This article debunks some of the similar myths attached to the carbon dioxide gas.

Before we get started, here's a question for you.

Do you know the answer to this carbon dioxide fact?


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Carbon Dioxide Myth #1

Myth: Carbon dioxide is a dark brown gas with suffocating order.
Fact: Carbon dioxide is a colorless and odorless gas.

Just because carbon dioxide is a strong greenhouse gas, and one of the main supporters of global warming, many have the mindset that it must be “that” gas coming out of the industries and vehicles. No, those gases are nitrogen oxides or sulfur dioxide. Carbon dioxide is colorless and does not have any smell. The air we inhale contains about 1% carbon dioxide, and it is humans who give out carbon dioxide with every breathing cycle.

Carbon Dioxide Myth #2

Myth: Carbon Dioxide is poisonous.
Fact: Carbon Dioxide is not poisonous at all.

The fact that carbon dioxide is not poisonous can be proved with a useful application and an effective treatment for the patients of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon dioxide plays a useful role in ceasing the effect of carbon monoxide poisoning. If carbon dioxide is poisonous, why would the doctors give carbon dioxide to them?

If carbon dioxide is not poisonous, why do people die in deep wells and mines?

This is an interesting and a popular question. We cannot neglect the fact that carbon dioxide is heavier than air and its concentration is more in deep wells and mines. But another fact is that the workers don’t die of inhaling carbon dioxide, but die due to the lack of oxygen.Carbon dioxide, being relatively heavier than oxygen and natural air, resides more in deep places, wells and mines. That is why, its concentration is more than the concentration of oxygen. Workers die because they cannot get oxygen, not because of “carbon dioxide poisoning”.

Carbon dioxide, being relatively heavier than oxygen and natural air, resides more in deep places, wells and mines. That is why; its concentration is more than the concentration of oxygen. Workers die because they cannot get oxygen, not because of “carbon dioxide poisoning”.

Molecular Shape of Carbon Dioxide

Carbon Dioxide Molecular Shape
Carbon Dioxide Molecular Shape | Source

Carbon Dioxide Myth #3

Myth: Carbon dioxide is the heaviest gas.
Fact: Carbon dioxide is not the heaviest gas.

Once it becomes clear that carbon dioxide is heavier than air, many will have the mindset that it is the heaviest gas. No, carbon dioxide is not the heaviest gas known to the mankind. In fact, Radon is the heaviest gas.

Carbon Dioxide Myth #4

Myth: Carbon dioxide is a neutral gas.
Fact: Carbon dioxide is acidic.

Carbon dioxide is not poisonous; this does not necessarily mean it is neutral. Carbon dioxide is an acid anhydride of carbonic acid; meaning, it forms carbonic acid when combined with water. When moist blue litmus paper is brought into contact with carbon dioxide, it turns red. This proves that carbon dioxide is acidic in nature.

Being acidic does not necessarily mean that it's harmful. Lemons and oranges are full of acids, and yet, they are so much healthy to us.

The fizzing gas coming out of soda is actually Carbon Dioxide.
The fizzing gas coming out of soda is actually Carbon Dioxide. | Source

Carbon Dioxide and Global Warming

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