Air Pollution

A Brief Note On Particulate Matter (PM) In The Atmosphere and Air Quality Index (AQI) readings

What does PM0.3, PM2.5, PM10 mean?

The air around us comprises of many solid and liquid particles of varied sizes. These particles are generally dangerous for any living being. The total concentration and size of all these particles is termed as Particulate Matter (PM). These particles of various sizes help define its aerodynamics qualities. Based on the size of particles, PM can be divided into:

  1. Larger particles whose size ranges from 2.5 to 10 μm (i.e. PM10 – PM2.5)
  2. Smaller particles whose size ranges from 0.1 μm up to 2.5 μm

The hazardous composition of these particles is more than enough to create heavy air pollution, which is harmful to all living beings if inhaled.

As the size of microns decreases, they become more toxic and harmful. Pollen in the air is generally 10 microns ( μm) or larger. Bacteria, allergens, dust mites, etc. are about 1 micron or a little more. When the size of microns is measured below PM2.5, i.e PM0.1, PM0.3., it is considered highly dangerous and might result in risky health issues. These particles are so minute that it can easily get dissolved in the human blood and create severe health risks. Therefore, many companies have come up with an idea of designing unique air purifiers to catch even minute microns. HEPA filters and filtration masks are effective when it comes to capturing PM0.3 and larger pollutants.

Citizens of some countries across the globe are extreme sufferers of poisonous smog, toxic smoke, and an atmosphere drowned in a haze. After considering the AQI (Air Quality Index) of most countries of the world, here is a list of countries and cities affected most by PM10, PM2.5, and PM0.3.

  • Asian countries are most affected by PM10 – PM2.5 particles like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, etc. Other countries are Cameroon, Bulgaria, Senegal, Turkey, etc.
  • Cities where PM0.3 or fewer particles have affected are San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, etc.

Check out a site like the World Air Quality Index which provides real-time updates on the air quality and it’s danger level in a number of cities around the globe.

Particulate matter in the air constitutes a major contributor to air pollution. Take efficient preventive measures to safeguard your respiratory system. It is advisable to use filtration masks and air purifiers indoors as well as on the go. At most times, particulate matters may not be visible to the naked eye so keeping a regular check on the AQI (Air Quality Index) readings will be of immense help to your personal health, as it will allow you to take the necessary precautions.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *