Particle pollution, also known as particulate matter, refers to tiny particles in the air that can cause serious health problems when inhaled. These particles come in various sizes and shapes, but the most harmful are those that are less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter, as they can penetrate deep into the lungs and even enter the bloodstream.

Sources of particle pollution include natural events like dust storms and wildfires, as well as human activities such as burning fossil fuels, industrial processes, and transportation. In urban areas, vehicle exhaust is a major contributor to particle pollution.

Exposure to particle pollution has been linked to a range of health problems, including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and premature death. Children, the elderly, and people with pre-existing health conditions are particularly vulnerable.

What health effects might pollution have?

Health impacts from particle pollution may take many different forms. Particle pollution exposures, both short-term and long-term, have been associated to health issues.

Temporary signs:

  • irritation of the nose, throat, and eyes
  • coughing
  • phlegm
  • chest constriction
  • breathing difficulty

Exposures that last a long term may result in:

  • decreased lung capacity
  • persistent bronchitis
  • early passing

Short-term exposures might result in:

  • exacerbate lung disease
  • bringing on asthma attacks
  • severe bronchitis
  • respiratory illnesses
  • heart condition

Healthy adults and children have not been shown to develop major side effects from brief exposures, while they may momentarily feel mild discomfort when particle levels are high.

How Can Particulate Pollution Be Reduced?

By using fewer appliances that produce particulate pollution, avoiding burning, quitting indoor smoking, walking instead of driving, using solar energy, servicing vehicles regularly, etc., we may minimize the amount of particulate matter in the air.

  • We can utilize fewer household items that produce particulate pollution.
  • Do not burn any yard debris, leaves, or wood.
  • Quit smoking, particularly indoors.
  • Older engines may be replaced with new engines to lessen particle pollution from diesel automobiles.
  • Whenever feasible, go for a walk, ride a bike, use public transportation, or share a car.
  • Pay attention to vehicle maintenance to cut down on particulates.
  • Utilize indoor air purifiers in your homes and workplaces.
  • Utilize renewable energy sources like solar power, biogas, and rainwater collection to save energy and reduce particle matter pollution.

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