The Fact of Particle Pollution
Otherwise referred to as particulate matter, particle pollution includes elements in the air that consist of liquid droplets and solid material. These may be emitted into the air directly, while others tend to form when airborne pollutants react in the atmosphere. No matter what type of particulate matter, this remains true – it is harmful to one’s health. There is also a possibility that the particulate matter can spread indoors when there is a high level outdoors.
Sizes of Particulate Matter
There are different sizes of particulate matter. Some may be smaller than a human hair’s width, which is under 10 micrometers in diameter. This type of particle tends to get into your lungs and causes health issues over time. Fine particles are those that have a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less. Since these are very small, the only way to detect them is with an electron microscope.
The common sources of fine particles include wood burning indoors, agricultural burning, motor vehicle combustion, industrial processes and power plants. These particles can be found indoors and outdoors. Exposure to these can increase your chances of suffering from respiratory ailments and even some types of cancer over time. It is important to steer clear of these particles to safeguard your health and vitality.
As for coarse particles, these are the ones with a diameter of 2.5 to 10 micrometers. As the name implies, these come with a coarser quality, and it is much easier to detect them. You can find coarse particulate matter outdoors, which appears as dust or dirt. Machines and construction equipment that perform grinding or crushing operations emit coarse particles in the air. The same holds true when vehicles stir up dirt or dust as they go by on the roads.
Health effects of particulate pollution
Clean air is as important to attaining overall health as good quality food. Unfortunately, the increasing problem with air pollution is affecting more and more people throughout the world, and their health suffers because of it. Too much particulate matter in the air puts people at risk of various ailments, and it almost seems like a luxury to live in a place where the quality of air is exceptional.
According to health experts, particles in the air that are fine or those with a diameter of less than 10 micrometers can result in a number of health issues. In fact, these fine particles have been associated with lung disease and cardiovascular disorders. Cases of premature deaths have also increased over the years due to the increasing levels of air pollution in various parts of the world. Individuals who are exposed to particle matter for years, as well as within 24 hours, can suffer from these diseases or even death.
There are people who are highly sensitive to particle pollution, and these are the ones who have an existing medical condition, including lung disease, asthma, coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart failure. Thus, they are at a higher risk of experiencing intense health effects due to particulate matter.
Children and older adults with undiagnosed lung or heart disease are also considered to be at a higher risk of suffering greatly from exposure to air pollution. Women who are in their mid-50s and men in their mid-40s may undergo heart attacks as they continue to breathe a poor quality of air regularly.
If you have an existing respiratory problem, it may be very difficult for you to breathe normally. You may also become more prone to shortness of breath, coughing episodes and allergy symptoms. Even healthy individuals may experience these effects, which only become much worse in time. Increasing particle pollution aggravates existing conditions, which can result in serious cases of bronchitis and asthma. Thus, the need for frequent visits to the doctor and medication increase.