HomeBlogThe composition of inhaled and exhaled air. What should and shouldn’t contain?

The composition of inhaled and exhaled air. What should and shouldn’t contain?

Air – what is it and what does it contain?

Air is a mixture of gases and aerosols that make up the Earth’s atmosphere. As for the composition, it has changed considerably throughout its history. Currently, however, everything is standardized and although the concentration of individual air components still changes slightly, these changes are very minor. Of course, there are components in the air that can be called constants and those that can be called variables – the latter depend on various factors, hence their greater fluctuations, such as a change in the content of carbon dioxide, water vapor, or carbon dioxide sulfur. So what exactly does air consist of?

  • nitrogen
  • oxygen
  • argon
  • carbon dioxide
  • neon
  • helium
  • methane
  • krypton
  • hydrogen
  • xenon

In the air, we can also distinguish mineral and organic suspensions, which include the mentioned dusts, but also, for example, plant spores.

Air is inhaled and exhaled

The composition of inhaled air and exhaled air differ slightly from each other – mainly when it comes to the percentages of individual components.

We inhale:

  • nitrogen – 78%
  • oxygen-21%
  • other gases – 1%
  • carbon dioxide – 0.04%.

In turn, the exhaled air can be distinguished:

  • nitrogen – 78%
  • oxygen – 17%
  • carbon dioxide – 4%
  • other gases – 1%.

Air – what should it not contain?

It is worth knowing that the air of many cities contains elements that should not be there. These are various dusts and pollutants that remain in it under favorable weather conditions, usually coming from human activities – that is, from factory chimneys, cars, furnaces where coal is still burned, etc. Pollutants that can be distinguished in such in the air, they are slightly different in different places. In general, however, it is indicated that smog consists of:

  • Sulphur dioxide
  • nitrogen dioxide
  • Carbon monoxide
  • benzene
  • ozone
  • fine dust PM2.5
  • PM10 fine dust, in which heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, nickel, cadmium and benzo (a) pyrene are also determined, which is a chemical compound composed of carbon and hydrogen.

All these ingredients are very harmful to human and animal health. They also have a negative effect on plants. These pollutants end up in our respiratory system, but not only damage it. They can also negatively affect the human circulatory system, leading to, among other things, cardiac arrhythmias, hypertension, and even sudden cardiac death. They can also influence the appearance of cancer – and these are just a few of the diseases they cause. Interestingly, pollutants also accumulate indoors, so we should check not only the cleanliness of the outside air, but also that in buildings. The simplified test uses the carbon dioxide content as a reference, but a more accurate one will take into account many other factors. It is worth knowing the composition of the air you breathe – if only to check whether a given area is suitable for permanent settlement.

Recent Posts

If you want to get to know us better during the fair, the next opportunity will come in Budapest. Planet Budapest 2021 Sustainability Expo and […]

In the times of the climate crisis and growing concerns about the future of our planet, the topics related to the fight for cleaner air […]

Polluted air has a negative impact on our health and functioning. Unfortunately, smog and harmful substances are particularly dangerous for pregnant women and children. How […]