Safety Considerations

Oxygen use is completely safe with LiveO2 and Oxygen Multistep Protocols.

A more detailed discussion of each topic follows.

There are three situations where oxygen is not safe to breathe:

Otherwise oxygen is very good for you. We've provided a more complete explanation, including copies of the original research, in this publication.

Both Oxygen Multistep Therapy and LiveO2 are far below these levels, and are even safer than commonly used hyperbaric chambers. We'll explain more on this later.

For evidence, just search here. This is an internet search showing no cases of negative or adverse effects from these oxygen therapies in over 30 years of continuous use.

More Information

The LiveO2 and LiveO2 Adaptive Contrast® equipment is not capable of delivering enough oxygen for long enough to damage lungs or cause oxygen toxicity.

There are two documented situations where low pressure oxygen can cause harm:

At normal pressure, the medically accepted threshold for oxidative stress to the lungs requires oxygen in excess of 95% exceeding 4 hours in the most sensitive individuals, with symptoms typically appearing after 14 hours. See: Bench to Bedside Review: Oxygen as a Drug

LiveO2 is capable of high levels 50 liters per minute for about fifteen minutes. This use is far below both thresholds for oxidative stress:

  • The concentration of oxygen is at about 80%
  • The duration is oxygen use is for fifteen minutes maximum until consumption exhausts the reservoir, and use must stop.

All systems, including LiveO2, can only deliver oxygen well within known safe levels, of both time and duration.

In 1947, the British military discovered that oxygen could be toxic (Oxygen Toxicity) as a result of underwater research. The same research discovered that nitrogen (78% of air) caused Nitrogen Narcosis.

In simple terms, oxygen toxicity only occurs under very, very, elevated oxygen partial pressures.

This research determined that super-concentrated oxygen, 18x normal (impossible without military-grade equipment or deep diving), produces oxygen poisoning.

  • Ardenne's protocols use oxygen at far less than these levels, and have never been reported to cause harm or produce oxygen toxicity symptoms, in any person.
  • Athletic protocols have over a 75% safety margin, and non-athletic protocols have a 95% safety margin. A detailed analysis follows.

According to the research documentation, oxygen toxicity effects cannot occur with Oxygen Multstep Therapy or LiveO2 systems because they cannot produce high enough levels of oxygen for a long enough period of time to produce these effects.

The Summary

If you want to skip the details, the results below come to 17.9 atmospheres, or breathing air under water at a depth of 538 feet. This is very extreme.

For comparison, Ardenne's pregnancy support protocol uses about 4 atmospheres of oxygen for 15 minutes during labor preceeding childbirth. This is about 125 feet of water breathing regular air, for a short period of time.

His quick protocols use about 60% oxygen for 15 minutes. The LiveO2 system supports Ardenne's highest level protocols for athletic training and labor.

The highest oxygen levels that any Oxygen MultiStep Therapy system is capable of, is less than 25% of the oxygen partial pressures known or ever reported to produce oxygen toxicity effects in any person. There are no reports, over the past 30 years, that any of Ardenne's protocols have ever caused any indication of oxygen toxicity in any person.


Oxygen at sea level is one atmosphere. The experiments documented in these publications showed oxygen toxicity at 17.9 atmospheres produced escalating symptoms, as indicated below

  • The pressure at 90 feet = (1 atm + * (.445 lb/ft * 90 ft) / 14.5)) = 3.76 atm
  • This was pure oxygen. Normal air is 21% oxygen, so 100% / 21% pure oxygen is 4.76 atmospheres of oxygen partial pressure
  • 3.76 atm * 4.76 atm = 17.9 atmospheres of oxygen

So this data shows results for extremely high oxygen concentrations. Note that even at these extremely elevated levels, the early presentations, less than 15 minutes, have minor symptoms:

  • Lip Twitching
  • Tingling of Skin
  • Vertigo
  • Hiccup
  • Nausea
Oxygen Poisoning at 90 ft (27 m) in the Dry in 36 Subjects in Order of Performance – K W Donald1
Exposure (mins.) Num. of Subjects Symptoms
96 1 Prolonged dazzle; severe spasmodic vomiting
60–69 3 Severe lip-twitching; Euphoria; Nausea and vertigo; arm twitch
50–55 4 Severe lip-twitching; Dazzle; Blubbering of lips; fell asleep; Dazed
31–35 4 Nausea, vertigo, lip-twitching; Convulsed
21–30 6 Convulsed; Drowsiness; Severe lip-twitching; epigastric aura; twitch L arm; amnesia
16–20 8 Convulsed; Vertigo and severe lip twitching; epigastric aura; spasmodic respiration;
11–15 4 Inspiratory predominance; lip-twitching and syncope; Nausea and confusion
6–10 6 Dazed and lip-twitching; paraesthesiae; vertigo; "Diaphragmatic spasm"; Severe nausea

It is well known that oxygen should never be used, alone, by any person with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. See also Effect of Oxygen on obstructive pulmonary disease.

No person with COPD should ever:

  • Use a Hyperbaric Chamber
  • Breathe a high concentration without exercise (which maintains CO2 balance by exertion)

High levels of oxygen are dangerous to these people because their body forgets to breathe, and because their CO2 respiratory reflexes don't work any more. This means that extra oxygen can lead to increased CO2 retention, which in turn leads to respiratory failure.

LiveO2 Therapy is good for COPD—BUT ONLY WITH EXERTION!

The combination of oxygen with exertion is highly therapeutic for individuals with COPD. Ardenne developed several highly successful protocols that use supplemental oxygen, combined and exercise or pharmaceutically elevated heart and respiratory rates, to restore respiratory function in these same individuals.

These protocols are listed here:

NO HIGH CONCENTRATION OXYGEN SYSTEM SHOULD BE USED without exercise because exercise produces Carbon Dioxide to balance the metabolism.

Individuals with extremely compromised respiratory systems should also NEVER use a hyperbaric chamber, as the higher oxygen pressure can disable their respiratory reflex.

These same individuals CAN use LiveO2 or Oxygen Multistep Therapy because these therapies include activity that preserves and enhances CO2/Oxygen balance, to support and restore respiratory reflex.

These therapies are highly recommended for COPD—just not at rest.