Young lungs

1st July 2008 – 10.40 am

I had my COSHH assessment at work this morning, testing my lung capacity. This is done because there is a particularly nasty coolant that some equipment uses and I really shouldn't be breathing, so I am checked once a year to make sure that I am not accidentally sucking on a hose I shouldn't.

The test involves taking some breaths and blowing in to a tube rather more voluminous than you would expect, which is connected to a portable computer. If you haven't done one of these tests before you will probably get a poor first result because of the lack of resistance encountered when huffing and puffing. I have been tested regularly for several years, so I know what to expect and don't feel unfit when I am gasping for air so soon.

I did the same tests again this time, one for duration and one for burst, and the results were good. In fact, so good that they showed I had the lung capacity of someone six years my junior, which is encouraging. I suppose I am not sucking up as many exhaust fumes as I occasionally worry about, being conspicuously exposed on a motorbike.

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