Oxygen is a nonmetallic gas with atomic number of 8 in the periodic table. The nonmetallic element is represented chemically with symbol O. You cannot taste, smell, touch or see the nonmetallic gas; however, that does not take way your ability to understand the importance of the gas in the human, nay, animal life. Moreover, importance of the gas can be understood from the fact that it makes up over 65% of the human body by mass. The element is said to constitute around 21% of earth’s atmosphere. It is molecular oxygen (O2) that we breathe to stay alive and it exists only in the atmosphere. There are numerous other important about oxygen which are described below:
We Just Respire 21% of Oxygen from Air
Out of 11,000 liter of air we breathe per day we only take in 550 liters of oxygen daily. We breathe air which comprises of 78% nitrogen, oxygen 21% and traces of other elements. On breathing air we are taking in only 21% of oxygen while 15% of oxygen is being exhaled at the same time.
Oxygen Found in Water, Flora and Fauna
Apart from the earth’s atmosphere, oxygen is also found in water-bodies, flora and fauna. It is also constituent of the planet’s crust making up around 50% of it. It is present mostly in the form of oxides of silicate, etc.
Too Much Oxygen is Toxic
It is a well-known fact that no living organism can survive without oxygen beyond a couple of minutes. For proper bodily performance we are required to breathe in adequate level of oxygen. However, too much of oxygen is also bad as it can prove to be toxic. Atmosphere comprises of 21% of oxygen and we have no problem till 18% on the downside and on the upside it is ok up to 25%. Beyond it starts to get toxic.
Fetus Breathe Oxygen through the Umbilical Cord
Do you know how a fetus takes oxygen? No a fetus does not breathe oxygen. Mother does the breathing and passes oxygen through the umbilical cord to him/her. Do you know why the fetus does not get drowned in the womb? It is because he breathes through the cord so long as it is attached he cannot drown.
Oxygen is also used in the treatment of numerous health related problems. If an individual is not able to breathe in adequate amount of oxygen due to some underlying condition oxygen therapy is administered to him through supplemental oxygen. In health conditions like COPD, cystic fibrosis and sleep apnea, oxygen therapy is a life-saver.