If you have ever read an air quality report you would have bound to come across the term PM2.5. To help you understand these alphanumeric numbers, this blog will tell you what they mean and why should you keep an eye on their levels.
What is PM2.5?
Simply put, PM2.5 is an atmospheric particulate matter (PM) with a diameter of less than 2.5 mm, which is only 3% of human hair’s diameter. Particles under the PM2.5 category are invisible to the naked eye and require the use of an electron microscope for detection. Also referred to as fine particles, they are smaller than PM10 particles, which have a diameter of 10mm or less.
Where do PM2.5 come from?
Today’s rapid industrialization has led to increased levels of PM2.5 particles in the atmosphere. These particles are either released directly into the air or are a byproduct of various gases and particles. They can come from a wide range of sources such as power plants, airplanes, motor vehicles, wood burning, forest fires, volcanic eruptions, dust storms, and many others.
Why should PM2.5 particles be a concern?
Since fine particles are smaller in size than other particles, they tend to stay longer in the air. This increases the chances of living beings inhaling them. Once they enter into the body, which is easy because of their extremely minute size, they can lead to a number of lethal diseases.
Studies indicate that exposure to PM2.5 particles can result in premature death and other cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses. Moreover, they can also worsen chronic respiratory condition such as asthma, bronchitis and several others.
The American Heart Association recently published a report on the impact of PM2.5 on cardiovascular health and mortality:
“Exposure to PM <2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5) over a few hours to weeks can trigger cardiovascular disease-related mortality and nonfatal events; longer-term exposure (eg, a few years) increases the risk for cardiovascular mortality to an even greater extent than exposures over a few days and reduces life expectancy within more highly exposed segments of the population by several months to a few years.”
How to protect yourself from PM2.5 particles?
With the increasing PM2.5 levels, taking effective measures is vital to safeguard yourself against PM2.5 particles. Some of the measures you can take are as follows:
- Install residential air purification systems for sale with HEPA filters since only HELP filters can remove these particles.
- Stay indoors and always wear a pollution face mask when heading out or going to industrial areas.
- Avoid wood burning in and around your house
- Maintain a balanced diet to build the body’s resistance against fine particles
PM2.5 particles, despite their minute size, can be dangerous to your health if proper preventive steps are not taken. For the best HEPA compliant essential-to-buy residential air purifiers, check out our collection of top-notch air purifiers and buy the one that best fits your needs.