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lung crystalization(2 posts)

lung crystalizationdoog
Dec 11, 2002 11:13 AM
How cold does it have to be for a person's lungs to crystalize? Who knows anything at all about this? I have heard of it happening to runners.
Urban mythKerry
Dec 11, 2002 5:28 PM
Your body heats the air entering your lungs very efficiently. It is not possible to "freeze your lungs" through breathing cold air. The relative heat capacity of air compared to the heat capacity of water is such that if you inhaled 4 liters of -40C (= -40F) air, it would cool only 2 grams of lung tissue down from body temperature to freezing. It would take 6 more liters of air at -40C to freeze those two grams of lung tissue. All this assumes that the lung tissue is not heated by neighboring tissue. Your lungs can be irritated by cold, but never frozen. Around here, we obey the laws of thermodynamics.