The respiratory system is a biological system consisting of specific organs and structures used for gas exchange in animals and plants. The anatomy and physiology that make this happen vary greatly, depending on the size of the organism, the environment in which it lives and evolutionary history. The respiratory system is the network of organs and tissues that help you breathe. It includes your airways, lungs, and blood vessels. The muscles that power your lungs are also part of the respiratory system. These parts work together to move oxygen throughout the body and clean out waste gases like carbon dioxide. The lungs work with the circulatory system to pump oxygen-rich blood to all cells in the body. The blood then collects carbon dioxide and other waste products and transports them back to the lungs, where they're pumped out of the body when we exhale, according to the American Lung Association.