WHAT IS PARTICULATE MATTER AND WHY IT IS SO HARMFUL TO OUR HEALTH
Many studies report important correlations between pollution caused by small dust concentration and cardiac arrhythmia, heart attack, asthma and bronchitis.
Small dust also known as particle pollution (PM) are particles we normally breathe every day. Due to that, the size of particles is linked to their potential for causing health problems.
Particulate matter is divided in PM10 and PM2.5 (depending on the diameter size).
- Particles larger than 2.5 and smaller than 10 micrometres in diameter are called “Inhalable coarse” because they can go through the nose reaching the trachea;
- Particles smaller than 2.5 micrometres in diameter are called “fine particles”. Due to their small dimensions, they can reach lungs.The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified the air pollution – mainly caused by atmospheric particulate – in Group 1. It means it is considered as carcinogenic substance.
In the UE, small dust pollution drops 8 months the life expectancy.
How to check air pollution
The air quality index (IAQ) detects small dust effects, which may vary due to climate, economic system, cities sizes, and used fuels.
Check real time air quality
Small dust is composed by different chemical substances:
- Aromatic hydrocarbons (IPA)
- Metals, which stick to particle matter causing serious effects on health (lead, nickel, cadmium, arsenic, vanadium, chromium).
Some particulates occur naturally, originating from volcanoes, dust storms, forest and grassland fires, living vegetation and sea spray. Human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels in vehicles, stubble burning, power plants, road dust, wet cooling towers in cooling systems and various industrial processes, also generate significant amounts of particulates. Coal combustion in developing countries is the primary method for heating homes and supplying energy.
Unfortunately, PM10 remains in the air for long periods. Its concentration levels may decrease just in case of atmospheric events such as wind or rain. For this reason, we find high concentration levels of particulate matter in low-wind areas.
In 2013, a OMS report certified that in UE the air quality has improved. Lately the public opinion and institutions have been showing even more interest in the polluting emissions reduction. Still there is a lot to do and everyone can take part to this change.
Hence we have developed an optical sensor called PMX Blebrick, which can monitor the small dust concentration with an indication of particle concentration (PM2.5 and PM10). It is also able to detent smoke indoor or outdoor.
It can be used for following applications:
– Air purifier/cleaner
– Air conditioner
– Air quality monitoring
– HVAC, environmental monitoring
Find out more on Blebricks