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What is the role of the lungs?

The lungs take in oxygen, which cells need to live and carry out their normal functions. The lungs also get rid of carbon dioxide, a waste product of the body's cells.

The lungs are a pair of cone-shaped organs made up of spongy, pinkish-gray tissue. They take up most of the space in the chest, or the thorax (the part of the body between the base of the neck and diaphragm).

Continue Learning about Functions of the Lungs

Why do I need an x-ray to see my pleural effusion?
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)Honor Society of Nursing (STTI)
A chest x-ray may help to determine the extent of the pleural effusion. Sometimes an effusion may be...
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What happens to the lungs as we age?
Dr. Michael Roizen, MDDr. Michael Roizen, MD
Unfortunately, as we age, structural changes occur in the lungs and other components of the respirat...
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How does our respiratory system work?
RealAgeRealAge
Think of your respiratory system as an upside-down tree. When air enters your body, it goes down you...
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What is the capacity of an average set of lungs?
Pam GroutPam Grout
Your lungs are capable of holding up to seventeen pints of air per breath. When you breathe in only ...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.