There are things floating around in the air most of which cannot even seen such as PM2.5 They are a type of air pollution referred to as particulate matter and is most commonly known to affects people’s health.
What is PM2.5 ?
Particles can come in almost any shape or size, and can be solid particles or liquid droplets. We divide particles into two major groups. These groups differ in many ways. One of the differences is size, we call the bigger particles PM10 and we call the smaller particles PM2.5.
The big particles are between 2.5 and 10 micrometers (25 to 100 times thinner than a human hair). These particles are called PM10 which stands for Particulate Matter up to 10 micrometers in size. These particles cause less severe health effects. Coarse particles or PM10 consist of smoke, dirt and dust, mold, spores and pollen.
The small particles are smaller than 2.5 micrometers. These particles are called PM2.5. up to 2.5 micrometers in size. Fine particles or PM2.5 consist of toxic organic compounds or heavy metals.
How PM2.5 Particulate Matter Affects Your Health
Getting into your Body
When you inhale, you breathe in air along with any particles that are in the air. Particles can stick to the sides of the airway or travel deeper into the lungs especially PM2.5. The farther particles go, the worse the effect. Breathing through your mouth allows particles to travel deeper into your lungs.
If the particle is small enough it can travel deeper into the lungs where special cells trap the particle and preventing it from being exhaled. The result may contribute in lung disease, emphysema or lung cancer. These results will depend on the individual’s genetic predisposition, the frequency of exposure, the concentration levels and type of this small particulate matter.
Exposure to particulate matter leads to increased use of medication and more visits to the doctor or emergency room. Health effects include the following:
- Coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath
- Depression and physical abilities
- Aggravated asthma
- Lung damage (including decreased lung function and lifelong respiratory disease)
- Premature death in individuals with existing heart or lung diseases
What Can You Do About PM2.5?
The answer can be many things. There are many factors that need to be taken into account and each indoor environment is different. We advise consulting with one of our engineers for more details.