The Dancer in the Shadows

Friday, February 04, 2005

too much of a good thing?

with pretty much anything, overindulgence is generally a problem. i've seen many people look at me strange when i say this, but even oxygen, required as it is for continued life, will kill if there is too much of it. for proof, simply examine hyperventilation. this causes over saturation of oxygen and makes a person lightheaded. continued, dizzy, then unconscious. and this is only from the rather low concentration of oxygen in the atmosphere (8% if i remember correctly). just imagine doubling that... still less than 20% of the air we breathe would be oxygen, and we'd all be on the ground unconscious because that is too much.

just something to think about...

--- The Dancer in the Shadows

5 Comments:

  • At Monday, February 07, 2005 12:30:00 AM , Blogger Madison said...

    our air is about 20% oxygen. The apollo space program used pure oxygen in their cabin, which proved disastrous because of the propensity for fire, but not because it was dangerous to breathe. Incredibly subsequent launches still used the pure oxygen once in space, and only forty percent nitrogen during launches. the forty percent during launches was their fire control, but that still leaves almost sixty percten oxygen. this just isn't a good example of overindulgence. try fat

     
  • At Monday, February 07, 2005 7:44:00 AM , Blogger The Dancer in the Shadows said...

    very interesting, thank you T. however, why then is hyperventilation considered so dangerous? also, do they (nasa) use pure oxygen entirely in the cabin, or is that how it is stored? it was my understanding that the cabin was roughly equivalent to our atmosphere, and that pure oxygen was added to it to maintain the balance as breathing depleted the usable oxygen in the cabin. this way, only pure oxygen would need to be carried into space rather than a complete atmosphere. this would reduce both the weight and space requirements for maintaining breathable air in the cabin.

    i didn't think fat was a good example because it has far too negative a connotation. while it is very beneficial to have some fat in the diet, the average person in most first world industrialized nations has had more fat than is beneficial before breakfast is finished.

    perhaps water would have been a better choice? the human body is 60-75% water, the last recommendation i heard was about 2 litres (roughly 1/2 gallon) per day during the summer of combined water intake (drinking water as well as water in foods). still, too much water can still kill (floods, drowning, and i've heard that it is possible to drink too much water too quickly, though i've yet to find confirmation either way)

    --- The Dancer in the Shadows

     
  • At Wednesday, February 09, 2005 7:44:00 PM , Blogger Madison said...

    I'm no space expert, Id have to do more research for what they actually do for the cabins currently. Water is a great example. The poor body has to try and filter all of it, and too much will kill you. I have no idea how much water you would have to drink to kill yourself. Lots of raw lima beans too, they have some sort of toxin present in small amounts (I always knew there was something not to like about them)...

     
  • At Sunday, February 13, 2005 1:24:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Hyperventilation is not really getting to much oxygen. The air we breath is 21%. We have a system in our bodies called acid/base. This system is used to keep our blood ph constantly between 7.35-7.45. the quickest way to uset this is to breath fast. When we exhale what comes out is a higher concentrated CO2 and oxygen mix. This is how hyperventilation works in a nut shell. If you breath too fast, you exhale more and more CO2 causing your ph to rise. If your ph gets to high. lets say 7.6 you are in danger of seizure and death. Most people simply cannot sustain a respiratory rate high enough to do this purposfully.

    There are MANY MANY more facets to acid/base and the body. If you find it interesting enough read a chapter or two out of a medical book. You will be amazed at what the body can do..

     
  • At Monday, February 14, 2005 1:42:00 PM , Blogger The Dancer in the Shadows said...

    so it is actually a lack of carbon dioxide that triggers the problems associated with hyperventalation... wow. so abruptly *all* CO2 from the human system would be catastrophic. talk about surprise information. proof that balance is key though...

    my thanks to you anonymous, i'm sure we would all like a name of some form to attach to you...

    --- The Dancer in the Shadows

     

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