How Lungs Work
The Respiratory System
The respiratory system is very complex. Air enters
and leaves your body through this system. Let’s take
a closer look at the parts of the respiratory system.
Nose – Entrance and exit for air. The nose has small
hairs inside of it to help catch little particles
in the air before they reach your lungs.
Windpipe (trachea) –
Mouth – Another entrance and exit for air. throat to lungs.
Throat (pharynx) – Captures air and sends it down to the windpipe.
Bronchial tubes –
Bronchioles – Even smaller airways Tube that splits air
that bring air even further into the lungs. in half. Each half
of air is directed to
Muscles – Help move one of the lungs.
air through bronchioles
into the air sacs.
Lung – Organ that contains the
bronchial tubes, bronchioles,
Air sacs (alveoli) – and air sacs.
Small sacs deep inside of
lungs where air finishes its
journey through the respiratory
system. In these sacs is where
oxygen (O2) enters the blood stream.
Diaphragm – A very strong muscle that
helps move air into and out of the lungs.
On days when air quality is not so good…
What is an Air Quality Watch? What you can do on a poor air quality day to help:
An Air Quality Watch is called when • Don’t mow the lawn – • Stay inside – If you have asthma AQI is an acronym for Air Quality
the outdoor air pollutant levels If possible, tell your parents to or you just don’t feel good when Index. The AQI of the day will tell
are forecast to be high enough to hold off for a day or two. you go outside, try spending you the amount of pollutants in the
cause discomfort to your lungs. the day inside. This is a great air you are breathing. You can call
An Air Quality Advisory means • Ride your bike – Riding this phone number and ﬁnd out
day to go to the library.
pollutants have reached unhealthy your bike is exercise for the AQI in your area. (Some areas
your body and helps • Don’t burn – Burning anything
levels. Whether you have asthma are not on the phone message): 1-
reduce air pollution causes pollution.
or not, breathing high amounts of 866-DAILY AIR (1-866-324-5924) or
pollution can permanently harm emissions. If you don’t feel well you can ﬁnd this information on
• Combine trips – Go
your lungs. So how do you know when you go outdoors or exercise on the web at: www.cleanairwisconsin.
to the store and your
if there is an Air Quality Watch or poor air quality days, stay indoors. org. or www.epa.gov/airnow/.
friend’s house during the same
Advisory? One way is to listen to the • Walk – Walking is good for your body trip. This reduces air pollution,
radio and television in the morning. and gives you time to stop and saves you time too! DNR contact information
In some areas of the state, the and smell the ﬂowers. For more information please contact the Department
weather forecaster will announce if of Natural Resources, Bureau of Education and
air pollution levels are expected to Information, P.O. Box 7921, Madison, WI 53707-7921,
be high. You can also check the air Email: DNRAirEducation@wisconsin.gov
quality on line at: dnr.wi.gov/air/
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources provides equal opportunity in its employment, programs, services and functions under an Afﬁrmative Action Plan. If you have any questions, please write to
Equal Opportunity Ofﬁce, Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C. 20240.
This publication is available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audiotape, etc.) upon request. Please call 608-266-6790 for more information. LP/08 PUB-EI-7023 2008