19.7 Role of other Organs in Excretion

Other than the kidneys, lungs, liver and skin also help in the elimination of excretory wastes. Our lungs remove large amounts of CO2 (18 litres/day) and also significant quantities of water every day.

Liver, the largest gland in our body, secretes bile-containing substances like bilirubin, biliverdin, cholesterol, degraded steroid hormones, vitamins and drugs. Most of these substances ultimately pass out alongwith digestive wastes.

The sweat and sebaceous glands in the skin can eliminate certain substances through their secretions. Sweat produced by the sweat glands is a watery fluid containing NaCl, small amounts of urea, lactic acid, etc.

Though the primary function of sweat is to facilitate a cooling effect on the body surface, it also helps in the removal of some of the wastes mentioned above. Sebaceous glands eliminate certain substances like sterols, hydrocarbons and waxes through sebum.

This secretion provides a protective oily covering for the skin. Do you know that small amounts of nitrogenous wastes could be eliminated through saliva too?

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