Average Concentration of Carbon Dioxide in Expired Air: Factors Influencing the Percentage and Potential Health Implications

What is the percentage of carbon dioxide in expired air?


The percentage of carbon dioxide (CO2) in expired air can vary based on a number of factors, such as the rate of respiration and the level of physical activity. However, on average, the concentration of CO2 in expired air is approximately 4% (or 40,000 parts per million).

During the process of respiration, the body takes in oxygen and releases carbon dioxide as a waste product. The lungs expel approximately 3% of carbon dioxide with each breath in a resting person. However, during physical activity, the rate of respiration increases and more carbon dioxide is produced. This results in a higher overall concentration of CO2 in expired air.

It is important to note that individuals with lung diseases or conditions that affect respiration may have a higher percentage of carbon dioxide in expired air. Additionally, individuals who are exposed to high levels of carbon dioxide in their environment (such as those who work in industries or factories with poor air circulation) may also have a higher concentration of CO2 in their expired air.

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