Your body needs a constant supply of oxygen to stay alive. It also needs to dispose of carbon dioxide, a waste product of metabolism. In your lungs oxygen from the air you breathe is transferred to your blood and carbon dioxide is released from the blood. The blood transports the oxygen to all parts of your body. The carbon dioxide is exhaled. When the blood has less oxygen and lots of carbon dioxide in it, the heart pumps it back to the lungs through the pulmonary arteries.The bronchus, or main airway that leads into each lung, divides into smaller and smaller airways called bronchioles. Each bronchiole ends in a cluster of tiny air-sacs called alveoli. Each alveolus contains several small capillaries. The walls of those capillaries are thin enough to allow oxygen and carbon dioxide to move between the air and the blood. There are millions of alveoli in each lung.
Your lungs are especially vulnerable to particles floating in the air. Bacteria that cause disorders like pneumonia irritants such as tobacco smoke, which can cause lung cancer and, in some people, airborne allergens, which cause asthma or farmer’s lung can all interfere with lung functions.
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