Smell vs Respiratory


Look, I realize this sounds silly, but I have to know: when you “smell” something, say a burger for instance, do you retain trace amounts of “burger substance” within your lungs from the process of breathing, that your lungs then have to filter? I’m really trying to figure out the connection between smell as a sensory input and lungs as a respiratory function since they seem to operate through the same mechanism, aka breathing. This is a question regarding particle physics and molecular biology. Thanks!

In: Biology

Your nasal cavity is lined with receptors that detect various chemicals and your brain interprets it as smells.

Some of these chemicals do get absorbed by the lungs and then get metabolized by your body.

The receptors in your nose are extremely sensitive, so the amount of burger chemicals your lungs absorbs is almost negligible.