The lungs are the organs in the chest involved in breathing. The lungs are surrounded and protected by the rib cage. The lung on the left side of the body is a little smaller than the lung on the right.
The lungs transfer oxygen from the air to the bloodstream and remove carbon dioxide (a waste material) from the blood. When you breathe in, oxygen moves out of the air sacs of the lungs into the blood vessels. At the same time, carbon dioxide moves out of your blood and into the air sacs. You remove the carbon dioxide from your lungs when you breathe out. This process is called respiration.
Current as of: May 24, 2016
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Dennis L. Stevens, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine, Infectious Disease
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Donations to UW Health are managed by the University of Wisconsin Foundation, a publicly supported charitable organization under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.