How Does Oxygen Affect The Human Body

Earth’s atmosphere is a mixture of many gases. The largest part nitrogen is about 78%, and then oxygen, about 21%. The rest consists of traces of argon, carbon dioxide, neon, helium, krypton, hydrogen, xenon and some other gases. The air at the soil contains water vapor, which amount is variable (from 1% to 4%).

The human body like oxygen because it is a gas that keep their bodies alive. Premature babies, whose lungs may be underdeveloped when they are born, sometimes are put in incubators with oxygen-enriched atmosphere. Instead of 21%, the air in the incubator containing 30% or 40% oxygen.

Babies with difficult respiratory problems may surround with a hundred percent oxygen to prevent brain damage.

Too much and too little oxygen

But too much oxygen can affect body in bad way as too little. Too much oxygen in the air of incubators and in the blood can damage blood vessels in the eyes of the baby and cause loss of vision. From this it is evident sided nature of oxygen. In order to live we need to breathe, but oxygen to living organisms can be toxic.

Human bodyWhen the oxygen from the air united with other elements, such as hydrogen and carbon, this reaction is called oxidation. Oxidation causes the decomposition of organic molecules, which are the basis of life. At normal temperatures, the oxygen is slowly uniting with other elements. Thereby releasing heat but in amounts that are too small to feel them. If the temperature rises, the oxidation can take place very quickly.

When, for example, light a match, the friction between the head of the matches and the tape on the box is heated. Fast oxidizing, matches ignited. In this case, we feel the heat and see light generated by the oxidation. The oxidation in the human body is not as vigorous. Red blood cells take oxygen from the lungs and distribute it on the body. In the tightly controlled process, much slower and less forceful than burning in flames, oxygen molecule breaks down the food we eat. This interpretation is releasing energy and water, remaining carbon dioxide. Red blood cells then return carbon dioxide to the lungs, and we breathe out into the air.

Balance of oxygen

Plants and oxygenIt is important for human body to get enough oxygen. In the air is just the oxygen level that suits us – 21%. But even in this “ideal” amount, oxygen shows its destructive effects. Dry grass can be hoped from a single spark. The balance of oxygen and other gases maintains the life cycle in nature: humans and animals exhale carbon dioxide; plants use it and release oxygen.

However, it is not certain that the oxygen levels remain the same forever. The amount of carbon dioxide discharged into the atmosphere growing, mainly because it is released at the combustion of fossil fuels, such as, for example, petrol. Meanwhile, the biggest vegetation in the earth, trees, cut at an accelerating rate. Every minute wipe out entire hectares of forest. These two processes slowly reduce the amount of oxygen in the air, and all the forces of scientists trying to determine how much damage has so far caused.

Interesting fact: when sheets of a book eventually become brown, it is due to oxidation – slow combustion. Read also Why is Carbon Monoxide Dangerous, and you can read How Your Blood Works

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