# Do inorganic molecules affect living things?

##### 1 Answer
May 14, 2015

Inorganic molecules affect living things. Some of them are essential to life, and some of them can kill us.

Water

Water is an inorganic molecule. It makes up about 65 % of the human body.

We can survive 8 to 10 days without water.

Oxygen

Without oxygen in the air we breathe, the processes of respiration that provide energy for our muscles could not be performed.

Nitrogen and Carbon Dioxide

Nitrogen and carbon dioxide can kill us if we inhale the pure gas.

Carbon dioxide can cause kidney damage, coma, or death if there is a large excess or deficiency in our cells.

Inorganic compounds other than water make up only 1.5 % of our cells, but they are extremely important.

Electrolytes

The major electrolytes in the human body are ${\text{Na}}^{+}$, ${\text{Cl}}^{-}$, ${\text{K}}^{+}$, ${\text{Mg}}^{2 +}$, ${\text{Ca}}^{2 +}$, ${\text{HPO}}_{4}^{2 -}$, and ${\text{HCO}}_{3}^{-}$.

Without them, our cells could not function.

Trace Elements

Although they are required in very small amounts, trace elements such as iron, iodine, fluorine, copper, zinc, chromium, selenium, manganese, and molybdenum are vital for maintaining health.

They usually form parts of enzymes, hormones, and cells in the body.

And don't get me started on inorganic poisons such a carbon monoxide and compounds of arsenic, mercury and lead.