It’s all around us, we can’t see it, we can’t live without it but how many other facts about the air we breathe do you know? It’s so easy to take things for granted, especially when we can’t actually see it, so here’s a few facts about the air you’ll find interesting.
1. What is Air?
The facts about the air really should begin with what it is. Scientifically speaking air is the name given to the atmospheric gases breathed by humans and animals and used in photosynthesis by plant life. Despite being referred too very often as oxygen, the consistency of air is 78% nitrogen, 20% oxygen, 1% argon, 0.04% carbon dioxide with the rest being a mix of all sorts of other gases. Air generally also contains about 1% water vapor.
2. Oxygen is Highly Reactive
One of the fun facts about the air is that it is explosive and used as rocket fuel. Only around a fifth of the air we breathe is made up of oxygen, and even that is reactive enough to corrode metals. This sort of corrosion is obvious with iron, as it turns to rust and silvery colors as it tarnishes. Oxygen is used for a lot of purposes, but, when people are given oxygen in hospital, it is only a low dose. It is not pure, as pure oxygen would be so reactive that it would be poisonous to breathe in.
3. We Breathe in Dust All Day Long
The average house is between 1500 and 2000 square feet. For every 1500 square foot, there is 40 pounds of dust generated per year. Our bodies are built to be able to stop this dust from being harmful. The fact is that most of it is absorbed by our lungs and our body, but it does take time, which is why dust on the lungs makes a person feel under the weather for a while.
4. Oxygen is Needed for Life and It is in the Earth, Water and Air
This is the most obvious of facts about air. It is essential for all life on earth, and is even found mixed in water. That is how fish are able to breath, except for in the Dead Sea where there is no life. Oxygen is in the air around us and when you look at the differences between kids and adults, kids breathe 50% more air per pound of body weight.
5. There May Be Ozone in All Sorts of Places
It is uncommon to find oxygen in single molecules. It prefers to mix and form O2, which is what common oxygen is called. When three oxygen molecules merge, then it is called Ozone. In the upper atmosphere, it helps to filter out galactic radiation from hitting the earth. If it is produced on a ground level then it is a pollutant. We create it all the time in factories, repair shops and even with photocopying machines.
6. There Are a Lot of Mites in the Air We Breathe
We are not just absorbing dust when we breath. We are also absorbing millions of dust mites too. One ounce of dust holds around 40,000 dust mites, and as you read earlier, your house is producing 640 ounces of dust per year. That means that your house would hold 25,600,000 dust mites if you lived a year in a house without cleaning it.
7. Most of the Dust You Breathe is from You
You shed around 700,000 skin flakes per day. This is because the outer layer if your skin is replaced every 29 days. One of the great facts about the air we breathe is that it is teeming with dust, and 80% of that dust is made up from your dead skin cells. Add that to the fact that you breathe in around 23,000 times per day and you can see how quite a lot of your own body is being pulled back into yourself via the air that you breathe.
Learned something new about the air? Hope you found it interesting.