How much oxygen can a person fit in their lungs at a time?

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  • 1 decade ago
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    There's not a straightforward answer to this question. Air contains approximately 21% oxygen, so you can express the 'amount' of oxygen in a person's lung roughly as a percent of the volume of air in the lungs. That volume, though, differs depending on where you are in the respiratory cycle (inhaling, exhaling, or i between), and which volulme you measure (Total Lung Capacity, Forced Vital Capacity, Tidal Volume).

    In an adult the Total Lung Capacity is about 5-6L (5000-6000mL), so about 21 % (I know this isn't quite accurate, but just a rough explanation, for those chemists, physicists and physiologists out there) is oxygen. 21% is about 1L in an adult.

    How much of that is usable is a completely different question, however.

    Source(s): This will demonstrate the different lung volumes:
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