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aerosol
chemicals suspended in the air like a mist or a fog.
air pollution
a name for the substances put into the air that contaminate our atmosphere.
alveoli
air sacs that are clustered around the smallest bronchioles. They are the site of gas exchange between the air and the blood.
arteries
blood vessels that carry blood from the heart.
asthma
a condition in which the small airways leading to the air sacs get narrow.
bacteria
tiny organisms that can enter your body and change the function of cells causing sickness.
blood gas levels
the amount of carbon dioxide and oxygen in your blood.
bronchi
tubes that branch off the trachea and lead to the smaller bronchioles.
bronchioles
tubes that branch off the bronchi and repeatedly branch into smaller and smaller tubes.
bronchitis
infection of the upper airways and smaller air tubes. Two symptoms are wheezing and a persistent cough.
capillaries
tiny blood vessels through which materials pass between cells and the blood.
carbon dioxide
a waste gas your cells make, exhaled when you breathe.
cellular respiration
a process in which the cell uses oxygen to break down fuel molecules to produce energy and the waste products-carbon dioxide and water.
cilia
tiny hairs that line airways for breathing.
control systems
systems in your body that help regulate and maintain body functions at a normal level.
diaphragm
a large dome-shaped sheet of muscle, located beneath the lungs.
diffusion
the natural movement of particles from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration.
emphysema
a disease that destroys the delicate membranes of the air sacs. As a result, individual alveoli combine into larger and larger air sacs.
epiglottis
a flap-like trap door that closes when you eat or drink to keep food out of the airways.
esophagus
the tube that carries what you eat and drink to your stomach.
feedback information
information used by control systems indicating a change has occurred and a function is deviating from normal.
glottis
a slit-like opening between your vocal cords.
glucose
a simple sugar molecule.
larynx
the voice box-connects the pharynx with the windpipe that goes to the lungs.
lungs
a pair of sponge-like organs responsible for the exchange of gases during breathing.
mucus
a secretion produced by tissues in the airways that help moisten air and protect your body from particles and infection.
mucus escalator
term for the way particles are moved towards the throat. The motion of the cilia combined with the mucus create the mucus escalator.
nervous system
the system composed of the brain, spinal cord, and nerve cells that connect to all parts of the body.
oxygen
a tasteless, odorless, and colorless element of air. About 20% of air you breathe is oxygen.
pharynx
the throat-the section of the digestive system that leads from the mouth to the esophagus.
photosynthesis
the process in which plant cells use carbon dioxide to produce sugars (or starches) from energy (sun).
pneumonia
condition when the small air tubes and air sacs in the lungs get infected with bacteria. The infected cells produce fluids, which makes breathing difficult.
thermostat
a device which controls temperature. The “thermostat” in the human body is located in the part of the brain called the hypothalamus.
trachea
the main breathing tube to the lungs.
tuberculosis (TB)
one of the ten leading causes of death in the world. Active tuberculosis bacteria destroy the air sacs in a person's lungs.
veins
blood vessels that carry blood to the heart.
venules
small blood vessels that carry the blood from the capillaries to the larger veins.
viruses
tiny parasites smaller than bacteria.
vital capacity
the biggest possible breath a person can breathe in and exhale out.

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