The respiratory system consists of the upper and lower respiratory tracts. The upper tract includes the nose, pharynx, larynx, and trachea. The lower tract includes the left and right bronchi, bronchioles, alveoli, and the lungs. (See Figure Anterior view of the upper and lower respiratory tracts.)The main function of the respiratory system is to perform pulmonary ventilation of the body.
Anterior view of the upper and lower respiratory tracts.
Respiratory structures, along with the structures of the cardiovascular system, transport oxygen and remove carbon dioxide (waste product) from the cells of the body. This process is accomplished by events of respiration, exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide between the environmental air and the blood circulating through the lungs. Secondary functions of the respiratory system include warming air as it passes into the body and assisting in the speech function (providing air for the larynx and the vocal cords).
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