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How The Lungs Work

Your lungs can breathe in and out as much as 36,000 times a day without you even having to think about it. Isn't it about time you reflected on all the hard work they do? We take a closer look at the inner workings of your lungs.

How Lungs Work - A Little Gas Goes a Long Way

Very simply, the function of the lungs is to absorb oxygen, a gas that your body needs to function, and expel carbon dioxide, a "waste gas" that your body can't use (no, not that kind of waste gas!). But nothing is ever as simple as it sounds. When you breathe in, your diaphragm and other muscles expand to allow room for your lungs to fill. The low air pressure in your empty lungs creates a vacuum that sucks air in from the higher-pressure environment. The air flows from your nose and mouth, through your trachea (windpipe) and into your lungs.

How Lungs Work - The Big Trade Off

Once the air reaches the lungs, it flows into increasingly narrow bronchioles (small airways that extend into the lobes of the lungs) until it reaches the alveoli (tiny, thin-walled sacks). Once in the alveoli, the oxygen in the air passes through the thin membrane walls and into the pulmonary capillary. From there, the oxygen binds to the hemoglobin in red blood cells. The red blood cells give back carbon dioxide, which then goes back through the membrane, into the alveoli, through the bronchioles, into the lungs and - woosh - is exhaled back out of your body. The oxygen that was passed off to the red blood cells is then circulated around your body.

How Lungs Work - Did U Know?

  • When removed for transplant, the lungs can survive outside the body longer than any other organ.
  • The left lung is smaller than the right lung to make room for the heart.
  • About 10,000 quarts (9,464 liters) of air go through your lungs every day.
  • The total surface area of the alveoli is around the size of a tennis court.
  • New babies at rest breathe between 40 and 50 times per minute but by the time they're five years old, their breathing rate decreases to around 25 times per minute.
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What % of Lung Cancer is Caused by Tobacco?

  • 30 per cent.
  • 50 per cent.
  • 75 per cent.
  • 95 per cent.

General In The Forums

supravo
supravo posted in Debating:
You want to take up a responsibility at the age of 12. That is good...proves that you are really mature for your age. Good luck!  You should try out what you would like to do as a profession, it will help you to understand how it will be in the future. You should try them out...!
reply 19 minutes
xXSomeoneWasHereXx
I'm 11 at the moment. Turning twelve at the end of May. I really want to try out babysitting or petsitting. I've helped out in the preschool area of my old school, and sometimes help the little girl across the street when I'm playing with her older siblings. I'm also very mature for my age.   ​With the petsitting thing, I've been around lots of different types of animals. From a lizard to a horse. I also want to be  a veterinarian when I'm older so I think it will be a good thing for me to do. ​P.S. I plan on taking a Red Cross babysitting course.
reply 27 minutes
Rose678
Rose678 posted in Say Anything:
December 2 is my b day. 
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AnnaOfExquizurd
AnnaOfExquizurd posted in Food:
Biscuits
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Baka56
Baka56 posted in Say Anything:
"boredlol" wrote:may 22   :D :DOMG May 22 here too. Finally found a twin x) 
reply about 1 hour