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Thread: Do your lungs clean themselves or "detox themselves"?

  1. #1 Do your lungs clean themselves or "detox themselves"? 
    Forum Freshman
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Lately I have had an obsession with clean living, fresh air, and avoiding pollution.. Which is damn near impossible when you live anywhere near Chicago, IL like I do.

    but... I was wondering when youo breathe in pollution do your lungs clean themselves eventually when exposed to clean fresh air?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    2,408
    Yes, but your lungs can't get rid of absolutely everything. Some carbon and silicon particles can become embedded. Silicon particles cause the miner's disease known as silicosis, carbon particles cause a similar disease called black lung. You don't really need to worry about those though because even city air is not bad enough to cause them.
    A bigger concern would be ozone damage and damage from unburnt hydrocarbons.
    These are likely as bad for you as breathing second hand smoke in a crowded shabby old blues bar would be.
    It isn't so much the accumulated debri in this case as it is the scarring and other cellular damage the pollution causes.

    Anyhow, since I am not a medical expert in lung diseases I will give you a link to The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). They have a fairly nice ansd easy to understand page about it there.
    What are the Effects of Dust on the Lungs? : OSH Answers


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