WHY do more people drown in fresh water than in salt one?

If you inhale salt water, the high concentration of salt prevents the water from penetrating the lung tissue. When people drown in salt water, that’s generally cause they can’t get oxygen or expel carbon dioxide. Breathing in salt water creates a physical barrier between air and the lungs.

Fresh water is more “diluted” with ions than the fluid inside the lung cells. Fresh water does not penetrate skin cells because keratin essentially makes them watertight, but water rushes into unprotected lung cells to try to equalize the concentration gradient on the cell membranes. This may cause serious tissue damage, so even if water is removed from the lungs, chances are you won’t get better.

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