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Human Lungs

What are Lungs?

The Lungs are paired organs in the chest that perform respiration. Each human has two lungs. Each lung is between 10 and 12 inches long. The two lungs are separated by a structure called the mediastinum. The mediastinum contains the heart, trachea, esophagus, and blood vessels. The lungs are covered by a protective membrane called the pulmonary pleura.

Lung function normally peaks in the late teens and early twenties. After the early twenties, lung function declines about 1 percent a year over the rest of a person's lifetime. Lung function decreases about 2 percent a year for people who smoke.

What do your Lungs do?

Your lungs do a vital job. Each day, you take about 23,000 breaths, which bring almost 10,000 quarts of air into your lungs. The air that you breath in contains several gases, including oxygen, that your cells need to function. With each breath, your lungs add fresh oxygen to your blood, which then carries it to your cells. The main function of your lungs is respiration.

What is Respiration?

Respiration is the process of oxygen from incoming air entering the blood, and carbon dioxide, a waste gas from the metabolism of food leaving the blood.

Diseases that affect the Lungs

Body Location of the Lungs

To look at the lungs in relation to other organs in the body, visit the digestive system.

 

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