Understanding Asbestos

Anatomy and Physiology of the Lungs

LungsThe lungs consist of right and left sides. The right lung has three lobes: the upper lobe, middle lobe and lower lobe. The left lung has two lobes: the upper lobe and lower lobe. The heart sits in the mid chest extending into the left side.


Starting from the trachea (windpipe), two large tubes known as bronchi (airways) separate and distribute air to the left and right sides of the lungs.

Bronchi gradually form from more generations, like a tree branch, and become smaller and smaller.

As they spread to the ends of the lungs they eventually form a grape-like structure known as the alveoli. (shown to the left)

The diaphragm is the large dome shaped muscle that contracts and relaxes during breathing. It also separates the chest and abdominal cavity. Muscles near our ribs also help expand our chest for breathing.