Angry Toxicologist

Why, yes it is, and that’s why I’ve got a stupid product for you not to buy (not that my above-average-intelligence audience would anyway 😉  ).

The POD, or Personal Oxygen Device, by GO2, is simply that: portable oxygen for you to “energize” and “refresh, restore, renew your mind and body on the cellular level with oxygen”. Ooooo…cellular. Sounds scientificy, let’s get it!

First I have to note that if your body is short on oxygen, you’ll simply breathe harder.

Now, why is the product harmful?

Oxygen is reactive, our bodies exploit this aspect by having O2 accept the energy that we use to keep our bodies going (that’s a really broad definition of why we need oxygen). However, this reactivity can have unintended consequences; for one, oxidation is the main reason our bodies age (oxidation is also why iron turns to rust). This is the reason that anti-aging creams try to pack in the anti-oxidants.

Too much oxygen in the lungs can really damage the tissue with its reactivity. Researchers started measuring the damage a couple years ago by looking at isofurans, a chemical that signals that the cell walls are being damaged by oxidation.

When this damage occurs, the lungs heal themselves, but that’s exactly where the problem occurs, because the lungs are a really flexible and permeable tissue. Scar tissue isn’t. So eventually, the scar tissue builds up and it’s not only harder to breathe, but less air gets across the lung surface to the blood and vice versa. As you can imagine, asthmatics and smokers will feel this first.

Bonus stupid product: Anything that produces ozone (almost all ‘ionic’ air cleaners produce ozone). Oxygen in the air is O2 and Ozone is O3. It’s much, much more reactive. It’ s great way up in the stratosphere, but it’s hell in your lungs. As I said, this is really bad for asthmatics. The worse part is that initially, a big dose of ozone will feel good because the ozone is breaking down lung tissue and that makes it easier to breathe, but the long term effect is to make it much harder.


  1. #1 Moody834
    July 18, 2007

    Layperson Query: How does breathing O2 from canisters (such as when you’re jaunting up Everest or plumbing the deeps o’ the briny sea) effect the lungs? Do the same problems apply with the thingamabob here reviewed?

    Thank you, o wise one. 😉

  2. #2 AT
    July 18, 2007

    Well, it’s sort of the same thing in a way but for those professional uses the amount of O2 is measured out so that you won’t be getting too much. The thing is that O2 is damaging so we should get as little as possible above the level needed to keep things in working order. Our lungs usually do a pretty good job at that (unless you are underwater, in which case you need a bit of help).

  3. #3 PalMD
    July 18, 2007

    Also, at altitude, the partial pressure of oxygen is significantly lower, so when you supplement you are not delivering toxic doses, usually.
    In medicine, we see oxygen injury to lungs fairly frequently, as when we keep someone on 100% O2 to keep them alive, but are forced to leave them on it for a few days.

  4. #4 Dunc
    July 19, 2007

    Minor quibble: it’s actually the level of dissolved CO2 in the bloodstream that drives the breathing reflex, not the amount of O2 being carried. If you blow off enough CO2 (by hyperventilating, an old free-divers’ trick) you can hold your breath until you actually pass out from oxygen starvation, without feeling any need to breathe. So it’s not entirely true to say that “if your body is short on oxygen, you’ll simply breathe harder”…

  5. #5 AngryToxciologist
    July 19, 2007

    So I should state that for all my posts, since they are written with the lay person in mind, I try to only explain things to the level that is needed to get the point across while still staying accurate overall. (That’s not to say I don’t appreciate the comment, feel free to correct and fill in. It’s just in the way of explaination for future readers of other posts)

  6. #6 Rachel
    August 17, 2007

    So when water bottlers add ozone to the water, do you think this causes the same harmful effects??

  7. #7 Kelsey
    October 31, 2008

    I’m the president of GO2 LLC which produces the Oxygen POD and I personally use and stand behind the product 100%. I appreciate the Angery Toxicologist’s concerns and want to take this opportunity to highlight the benefits of breathing oxygen-enriched air from the POD.

    While breathing harder is a natural reaction for the body, breathing oxygen deficient or polluted air isn’t the optimal solution. That’s why the POD was created– to offer canned oxygen so that one can breathe oxygen-enriched air and provide the lungs and body what it craves. If the POD is used as its intended, it’s a proven source to relieve hangovers, recharge tired muscles, revive energy levels and ease altitude adjustment.

    If there are specific questions or concerns related to the POD or canned oxygen, please email me.

    We stand behind every POD.

    President of GO2 LLC

  8. #8 Abercrombie
    November 30, 2009

    In medicine, we see oxygen injury to lungs fairly frequently, as when we keep someone on 100% O2 to keep them alive, but are forced to leave them on it for a few days.

  9. #9 peakbagger1
    May 25, 2010

    I scramble up mountains from 8,000 to 11,000 feet at summit. I was looking for something to give me a boost when at higher altitudes. Would the oxygen at these altitudes be thin enough to benefit from a product like POD?

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