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.