Unlike the oxygen that we constantly breathe, pure oxygen has much higher levels of concentration. Literally, pure oxygen contains no other atoms or chemical compounds other than oxygen.
Pure Oxygen Uses
Pure oxygen or oxygen sources with higher concentrations often get used in hospitals for medical treatment. Those in need of immediate oxygen sources require a quick burst from low doses of highly concentrated oxygen versus a diluted source like the air.
Large tankers actually transport liquid oxygen and store large sources of the gas at the places where pure oxygen gets highly demanded.
Some space suits used by astronauts contain devices that release pure oxygen for breathing at different, usually lower pressures. You will also find pure oxygen sources in many scuba tanks for shallow diving emergencies or for decompression purposes.
Dangerous of Pure Oxygen
Oxygen toxicity occurs from using too much pure oxygen. Environments filled with concentrated sources of the gas do not support life in most organisms, including humans. Breathing any amount of pure or concentrated oxygen at high pressures over small periods of time will cause your body’s central nervous system to partially shut down or become damaged. If you breathe pure oxygen in a low pressure atmospheric environment, you generally become disoriented and have troubles with breathing normally.
Longer exposures to highly concentrated oxygen sources will ultimately result in lung damage or a complete collapse in the many alveoli found in the lungs. In other cases, seizures and even retinal detachment occur as well. These cases usually occur due to a lack of general information regarding oxygen plus in medical, flight and diving emergencies.