Particulate matter is the main culprit when it comes to air pollution. How can it affect your health, and how to protect your self from it? Check our guide on PM2.5.
Particulate matter is considered the most dangerous type of air pollution when it comes to human health. The reason lies in its size and composition. To measure the diameter of these particles, we use micrometers. It’s a unit that stands in between the millimeters and micrometers.
Aside from particulate matter, micrometers describe the dimension of human cells or bacteria. That can help you with imagining how small these particles are. No wonder that they pose such a danger to human health.
The air pollution apps like Airly.com usually divide the measurements, showing data on both PM10 and PM 2.5 levels.
Whatis PM 2.5?
It’s a smaller type of particulate matter. This type of particle has a diameter that doesn’t measure moret han 2.5 micrometers. PM 2.5 can have different origins, just as PM 10. Most of the particles come from the burning processes of coal, petroleum, wood, orbiomass. It can also originate in exhaust fumes from the vehicles and from the eroded soil. What connects these particlesis the size that facilitates entering the human respiratory and circulaory systems. Once inhaled, they get into the lungs and penetrate into the bloodstream, with which they get transported to the organs.
How can PM 2.5 affectyourhealth?
It depends on its composition. In general, this type of particulate matter can irritate the mucous membranes and have a negative influence on the respiratory system. Due to its small size, the particles can reach the deeper parts of the lungs, accumulating there and leading to chronic diseases.
Among the most dangerous types of particles, there are polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These substances can have a carcinogenic effect and lead to cell mutations. They are mainly an side product of burning fossil fuels. Another type of harmful substance present in the PM 2.5 is dioxin, released to the air through waste burning. These particles can negatively affect the hormonal system. Besides, they’re also carcinogenic. Dioxinsget to the organs through the blood stream and accumulate in them, causing health implications in the long run.
How to check the PM 2.5 level?
The particulate matter is an invisible enemy – it’stoo small to be seen and odorless. That’s why we can accidentally expose ourselves to, not being able to sense that the air pollution level is high enough to use protective measures. Fortunately, there are apps that help with monitoring the airquality – such as Airly.org. You can access its air pollution map via browser or through the mobile app and check the real-time data from various regions around the world.
It’s good to verify the pollution levels at least once per day to know what type of measures are required. When to wear an antismog mask? When the PM 2.5 level reaches 10 ug/m3, you should start using this kind of protection. For PM 10, the border level is 20 ug/m3.