Science Homework!

  For my science homework I have to complete a sheet on the effects of smoking. There are a couple of questions that I am really struggling with please could you help? These are the questions:

  1. Describe what effect the loss of surface area would have on the health of a smoker?
  2. Describe what effect the blocked cilia would have on the health of a smoker?

Thanks a lot! X

Answers
Hello,
jlweiss
10 October 2011
This sounds like questions 1 and 2 are referring to structural changes that occur in the lungs after long periods of cigarette smoking.
jlweiss
10 October 2011
1) Surface area is lost in the lungs due to the toxins in cigarette smoke leading to the breakdown of alveoli the air sacs in the lungs. This leads to poor gas exchanges oxygen for carbon dioxide and so the health of the cigarette smoker would be greatly affected due to reduced oxygen level and Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
jlweiss
10 October 2011
2) The cilia are located in the bronchial tubes of the lungs and their job is to clean out trapped particles which you then cough up. Chemicals in cigarette smoke stop the movement o cilia and this clean out process is inhibited. The effect of this on the health of the smoker is that foreign matter and other toxins from smoking such as tar stay trapped in the lungs and this adds to the breathing problems and will eventually kill healthy lungs cells.
jlweiss
10 October 2011
I hope this help and please send me a message if you would like to set up a tutoring session.
jlweiss
10 October 2011
The elasticity of the alveoli tissues is reduced due to smoking - tar build up. Therefore the large surface area to volume ration ordinarily expected from alveoli is reduced. Reduced surface area means slower rate of diffusion of gases across the epithelium from air sac into blood stream and vice versa. So rate of diffusion of oxygen into blood is slower and removal of carbon dioxide is also much slower. This means less oxgen available for aerobic respiration in tissues. Heart has to work much harder to get more blood pumping around the body both to tissues and back to the lungs. Heart dissease may follow. Lung cancer can arise from smoking, but don't forget that heart disease is also a major illness that results from heavy smoking.
hellouk
29 January 2012
As for the cilia, they are damaged by the effects of smoking. If damaged, they are unable to remove the build up of particulates (from smoking) and other inhaled dust particles and microbes. Recall that mucus is secreted by the goblet cells that line the epithelium (tissue lining) of the trachea, bronchi and bronchioles. This mucus traps the dust, dirt, microbes and any other particulates. This is then swept up the air passages towards the throat and mouth, by the wave action of cilia. This keeps lungs free of infection. Evidently, if cilia are damaged, the risk of lung infection is greatly increased.
hellouk
29 January 2012
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