Air Pollution-Particulate Matter

Posted on January 9, 2013


Air pollution is one of five health risk factors used in our health program, people who participate in the program do so to reduce or eliminate it from their lifestyle.

Air pollution-A health risk factor

Air pollution is a primary health risk factor that can be avoided by exposure to clean air and environment.

Air pollution can come from dust, dirt, soot and smoke, the particulate matter degrades the quality of air we breathe and make us sick.

The particles called particulate matter(PM) circulate in the air and can be from either a primary source or secondary source.

Those from a primary source give off PM directly; for example, forest fires, road dust,vehicles and electrical power plants.

Those from a secondary source react with sunlight and water to form particles, examples of these are: exhaust from vehicles and coal fired power exhaust

Fine particulate matter are less than 2.5 micrometers, they are easily inhaled into the lungs due to their size.

Fine PM is the cause of cardiovascular diseases and respiratory problems. People exposed to them have more heart and lungs problems that those who are not.

In areas of high pollution, some social factors put people at greater risk for heart and lungs problems, for example in areas where there are:
-High rates of poverty
=High smoking rate
-High numbers of people without health insurance
-Large number of children
-Large number of people over 65

Lowering the levels of particulate matter will reduce premature deaths from heart disease and heart attacks.