What is PM, and what are the harmful effects to health?
PM stands for particulate matter (also called particle pollution): the term for a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Some particles, such as dust, dirt, soot, or smoke, are large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye. Others are so small they can only be detected using an electron microscope.
Particle pollution includes:
- PM10: inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 10 micrometers and smaller; and
- PM2.5: fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller.
* How small is 2.5 micrometers? Think about a single hair from your head. The average human hair is about 70 micrometers in diameter – making it 30 times larger than the largest fine particle.
These particles come in many sizes and shapes and can be made up of hundreds of different chemicals. Some are emitted directly from a source, such as construction sites, unpaved roads, fields, smokestacks or fires. Most particles form in the atmosphere as a result of complex reactions of chemicals such as SO₂ and NOx, which are pollutants emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles.
What are the effects to our health ?
Particulate matter contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can be inhaled and cause serious health problems. Some particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter can get deep into your lungs and some may even get into your bloodstream. Of these, particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, also known as fine particles or PM2.5, pose the greatest risk to health.
How can we reduce this risk ?
What you can do is place an air purifier with HEPA filtration system. A smart air purifier like C200 or C360 can even provide you both real-time indoor and outdoor PM concentration and air quality data. From its AQI (air quality index) indication light color on the display, you are immediately informed of the current air quality.
Discover which air purifiers are smart and why:
Related interesting article:
What air quality standard is your air purifier using to define ‘good’ air quality ?