Hydrogen: biological information
Hydrogen makes up two of the three atoms in water and water is absolutely essential to life. Hydrogen is present in all organic compounds. A form of water in which both hydrogen atoms are replaced by deuterium (2H, or D) is called "heavy water" (D2O) and is toxic to mammals. Some bacteria are known to metabolise molecular hydrogen (H2).
Levels in humans
- Human abundance by weight: 100000000 ppb by weight
- Human abundance by atoms: 620000000 atoms relative to C = 1000000
How much hydrogen is in your body? Find out here.
You can use this form to calculate how much hydrogen your body contains. Enter your weight in either kilograms or pounds and click the "Calculate" button. You must enter a number, not text! Elements for which there are no data will always give a value of zero for the weight, no matter what you put in the weight box.
Hazards and Risks
Hazards and risks associated with hydrogen:
Hydrogen gas is not toxic but is dangerous if mixed with air or oxygen because of the fire and explosion risk. In principle, it can asphyxiate through denying the body access to oxygen.
- J.E. Huheey, E.A. Keiter, and R.L. Keiter in Inorganic Chemistry : Principles of Structure and Reactivity, 4th edition, HarperCollins, New York, USA, 1993.
- S. Budavari (Ed.) in The Merck Index, 11th ed., Merck, USA, 1989.
- N.N. Greenwood and A. Earnshaw in Chemistry of the Elements, 2nd edition, Butterworth, UK, 1997.