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Science Form 3

Unit 1 Respiration

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Unit 1 Respiration
1.1 Human Breathing Mechanism
1.2 Transport of Oxygen in the Human Body
1.3 The Importance of a Healthy Respiratory
System

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1.1

HUMAN BREATHING MECHANISM


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A. Human Respiratory System

1. Living organisms must be able to take oxygen


from the air and get rid of carbon dioxide to the
air.

2. Gas exchange takes place through a gas


exchange surface, also known as a respiratory
surface.

3. Breathing is also known as external respiration.

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4. Breathing consists of two stages:
a. Inhalation - during which air is taken into the lungs.
b. Exhalation - during which air passes out of the lungs.

5. The breathing system or the human respiratory system


consists of the following structures or organs:
a. The nasal cavity
b. Trachea
c. Bronchus (plural: bronchi)
d. Bronchiole

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e. Lungs
i. Alveolus (plural: alveoli)

f. Rib cage

g. Diaphragm

h. The intercostal muscles


i. Internal intercostal muscles,
ii. External intercostal muscles.

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6. Flow of air into the lungs
a. Air is breathed in through the nose and enters
the nostrils.

b. The nostril leads to the nasal cavity where the air


is warmed up and moistened.
i. Hairs and sticky mucus trap particles inside the
nasal cavity.

c. The air then enters the trachea.

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d. The trachea branches into two bronchi.
i. Each bronchus leads directly into a lung.
ii. The bronchus branches into many smaller
tubes called bronchioles

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e. The air then passes through the bronchiole and comes
to alveoli
i. The human lungs have millions of alveoli
ii. The wall of the alveolus is only one-cell thick.
iii. It is thin , moist and is surrounded by a network of
capillaries.
iv. The exchange of respiratory gases, oxygen and
carbon dioxide,
occurs between
the alveolus and
capillaries.

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C. The Breathing Mechanism
1. The breathing mechanism is the physical changes
which occur in the respiratory system during
breathing.

2. This mechanism involves


a. inhalation
(breathing in),
b. exhalation
(breathing out).

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3. During inhalation
a. Both the intercostal muscles and
the diaphragm contract.
b. The diaphragm moves
downwards , increasing the
volume of the thoracic (chest)
cavity.
c. The intercostal muscles pull the
ribs up , expanding the rib cage
and further increasing the
volume of the thoracic cavity.
d. These actions lower the air
pressure in the alveoli.
e. Air from the outside then rushes
in through the nasal cavities,
trachea and lungs. The lungs
expand. yschow@smkbpj(a) 11
4. During exhalation
a. the intercostal muscles relax causing the
rib cage to move downwards and
inwards.

b. the muscles of the diaphragm relax and


the diaphragm curves upwards and
returns to its original dome shape.

c. These actions return the thoracic cavity


to its original volume.

d. The air pressure inside the lungs is now


higher than the atmospheric pressure
outside.

e. The lungs contract and the air is forced


out through the respiratory tract.

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A model representing how diaphragm
works in the human respiratory system.
i. The bell jar -
represents the
thoracic cavity.
ii. The glass rod -
represents the trachea.
iii. The balloons -
represent the lungs
lungs.
iv. The rubber sheet -
represents the diaphragm.

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When the rubber sheet is pulled downwards:

i. The volume of the bell jar


increases.
ii. The air pressure inside
becomes lower than the
atmospheric pressure
outside.
iii. This condition allows the
air outside to enter the
glass tube, causing the
balloons to expand.
iv. This action represents the
process of inhalation.
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When the rubber sheet is pushed upwards:
i. The volume of the bell jar
decreases.

ii. The air pressure inside the


bell jar becomes higher
than the atmospheric
pressure outside.

iii. The air inside the balloons is


forced out through the glass
tube. This causes the
balloons to deflate.

iv. This action represents the


process of exhalation.
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Composition of inhaled air and exhaled air:

21 16

0.03 4

78 78

less more

Variable 37 oC
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Comparison between inhalation and exhalation:

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1.2

TRANSPORT OF OXYGEN IN THE


HUMAN BODY

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A. Diffusion of Oxygen from the Alveolus to the capillaries

1. Diffusion is the movement of molecules


from a region where they are highly
concentrated to a region where they are less
concentrated.

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2. The following characteristics enable oxygen to
diffuse through the walls of the alveoli easily and
efficiently.
a. The alveoli have very large surface areas and
thin walls (only one-cell thick).
b. The inner surfaces of the alveoli are always
moist.
c. The outer surfaces of the alveoli are surrounded
by a network of blood capillaries. These
capillaries also have very thin walls
(only one-cell thick).
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3. Inhaled air is rich in oxygen.
4. The oxygen concentration in the alveolus is therefore
higher than the oxygen concentration in the
deoxygenated blood in the capillaries.

5. The difference in oxygen concentration makes the


oxygen diffuse easily into the blood capillaries.
a. Oxygen in the alveolus
diffuses through the
wall into the blood.
b. Carbon dioxide and
water vapour diffuse from
the blood into the alveolus.

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B. Oxygen Transport
1. Through the breathing process, oxygen from the air
flows into our bloodstream.
2. The heart then pumps the oxygenated blood to
supply oxygen to the body cells.
a. Body cells need oxygen for cell respiration.
b. Cell respiration is the oxidation of food to
release energy.

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3. Heamoglobin
a. It is the special carrier and it transports oxygen
from the lungs to all parts of the body.
b. b. Haemoglobin is a blood pigment.
c. It contains haem (or heme) (the part which is
made up of ferum )
and globin
(the protein part).
d. As the oxygen
concentration is high
in the alveolus, oxygen
diffuses into the capillaries.
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e. Oxygen then combines with haemoglobin in
the red blood cells and forms
oxyhaemoglobin.
f. Blood with oxyhaemoglobin is bright red in
colour.
g. It is carried to the heart to be distributed to
all the cells of the body.

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C. Diffusion of Oxygen from the Capillaries
to the Body cells.
1. Oxygenated blood is sent to all the cells in the body by
a vast network of blood vessels.

a. When blood reaches the body cells, oxyhaemoglobin


is broken down into haemoglobin and oxygen.

b. The oxygen then diffuses through the walls of the


capillaries into the cells.

c. Oxygen is then used to oxidise food to release carbon


dioxide during cell respiration.
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1.3

THE IMPORTANCE OF A HEALTHY


RESPIRATORY SYSTEM

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A. Healthy Respiratory System
1. Our respiratory system is protected by a
layer of cilia and glands which secrete mucus.
2. Our lungs are in direct
contact with the air we
breathe.
3. The pollutants in the
air
can cause damage to our
respiratory system.
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B. Effects of Harmful Substances
1. Nicotine in cigarettes
a. Stimulates the production of cells in the
trachea and lungs and leads to lung cancer.
b. Narrows and hardens the blood vessels.
This affects blood
flow and causes
heart attacks.
c. Leads to addiction
as nicotine is a drug.

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2. Tar in tobacco
a. blackens the lungs.
b. The walls of the lungs thicken and this
makes respiration difficult.
c. Tar is carcinogenic and can cause lung
cancer.

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3. Nitrogen dioxide in cigarette smoke and from
motor vehicles and industries

a. dissolves in the mucus layer on the walls of


the trachea and alveolus.
b. It forms an acid which can destroy lung
tissues.
c. In big towns, the reddish-brown layer in the
atmosphere is due to
the presence of
nitrogen dioxide.

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Nitrogen dioxide, NO2, is a brownish-red gas at
room temperature.
Nitrogen dioxide is a poisonous gas

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4. Sulphur dioxide

a. Sulphur dioxide is acidic.

b. It is released when fuels which contain


sulphur are burnt.

c. Cigarette smoke and smoke from


factories have a high sulphur dioxide
content.

d. Sulphur dioxide is very soluble in the


alveoli. It forms an acid which destroys
the lungs.
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5. Carbon monoxide

a. Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas which is produced


when organic fuels are burnt.

b. Most of the carbon monoxide in the atmosphere


comes from vehicles and factories which use
charcoal, petrol and diesel as fuel.

c. Carbon monoxide combines with


haemoglobin inthe red blood cells
and prevents oxygen from
combining with haemoglobin.

d. Our cells become deprived of


oxygen and this results in death.
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6. Dust and dirt

a. Dust and dirt are released to the atmosphere


by factories and motor vehicles.
b. The presence of dust and dirt in our lungs
hinders the exchange of gases.

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C. Diseases of the Respiratory System
1. Asthma

a. The primary cause of asthma is due to airborne irritants such as


pollutants and dust.

b. It may also caused by genetic factors and food allergy .

c. Asthma is a condition in which


the tubes of the lungs become
inflamed.

d. This is because the air tubes are


narrower and partially blocked.

e. More and thicker mucus is


secreted into the tubes.
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2. Influenza

a. This disease is caused


b. by viruses which attack
the mucus membranes
in the respiratory system.

b. The influenza virus spreads through


tiny droplets in the air.
Sneeze
Blocked noses, teary eyes, giddiness,
headaches, aches in the limbs,
coughs and fever are some of
the symptoms of the disease.
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3. Pneumonia

a. Pneumonia is caused by bacteria, viruses and


chemical substances in polluted air.
b. The trachea and alveolus are attacked by
bacteria or viruses.
The lungs are filled with
pus and fluid and the
patient will suffer from
chest pains, fever and
coughs.
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4. Tuberculosis (TB)

a. This disease is caused by bacterial infection


(Mycobacterium tuberculosis) which are carried
by water droplets and dust in the air.
b. Infection occurs when the water droplets and
dust are inhaled by
other people.
c. The patient suffers
prolonged coughs and
spits out blood in the
end stages.
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5. Bronchitis

a. Bronchitis is caused
by viral infections.

b. Bronchitis makes a
person cough and
produce
a lot of mucus.

c. The bronchus becomes swollen and the patient feels pain in the
chest. feels pain in the chest.

d. Bronchitis causes colds and phlegm.

e. This disease makes respiration and gaseous exchange difficult.


Patients who smoke find it hard to recover.

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6. Emphysema

a. This disease is linked to


smokers and people who
work in dusty areas such
as in mines and quarries.

b. The alveoli expand and burst.

c. The lungs become less elastic.

d. The thickened layer of scar prevents oxygen from


diffusing into the blood. As a result the patient
experiences breathing difficulties.

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7. Lung cancer

a. Many cancer cases are a result of smoking cigarettes.

b. Air polluted with carcinogens from factories and vehicle


emissions, dust and asbestos also cause cancer.

c. Lung cancer is difficult to cure.

d. It is important that we keep


away from these pollutants.

e. Lung cancer is not contagious


and cannot spread from a patient
to other people.
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D. Improving Air Quality
1. Pollution is mainly caused by irresponsible
human behaviour and improperly planned
activities.

2. We must be responsible for preserving and


conserving air quality.

3. Air pollution interferes with the respiratory


process. It can cause respiratory diseases which
can be fatal.
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Chemicals found in cigarette

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HOW CAN YOU IMPROVE AIR QUALITY?

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Walk or cycle instead of using your car.

Use public transport Service your vehicle regularly - this can reduce
pollution and make it cheaper to run.
instead of taking the car
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Don’t Smoke
Stop open burning Opening up the windows to
allow indoor air circulation

Car pool

Bring In Some Nature


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