Characteristics of Oxygen
Oxygen is a gas without color, taste, or smell. While we breathe oxygen in the air, it is generally mixed with nitrogen. Oxygen displacement is a common result of many industrial processes, so it is important to measure oxygen levels and evacuate when the level drops below 19.5% volume, the OSHA-mandated level.
More about Oxygen
Effects of Various O2 Levels
Concentration of O2
Resulting Conditions on Humans
Maximum "Safe Level"; OSHA.
Oxygen Concentration of air (20.954).
Minimum "Safe Level," OSHA, NIOSH.
Impairment of judgment starts to become evident.
First signs of anoxia appear.
Breathing and pulse rate increase, muscular coordination is slightly impaired.
Emotional upsets, abnormal fatigue upon exertion, disturbed respiration.
Nausea and vomiting, inability to move freely and loss of consciousness may occur.
Convulsive movements and gasping respiration, respiration stops and a few minutes later heart action ceases.