What is PM2.5? Why Is It Dangerous?

By | 15 April 2021

What is PM2.5? Why Is It Dangerous?

Cardiovascular diseases, especially coronary heart disease, are among the leading causes of death all over the world. The three most important causes of cardiovascular diseases are high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking. Therefore, in order to keep cholesterol and hypertension at normal levels, a healthy diet, an active lifestyle, and avoidance of smoking are recommended by doctors. However, recent medical studies have shown that cardiovascular diseases are associated with air pollution, especially fine particle (PM2.5) pollution.

The air we breathe is a mixture of gas, water vapor, dust, and chemical compounds. When we breathe, we take the particles in this mixture into our body with the air we breathe.

Large particles are prevented from reaching the lungs by being filtered by the body’s filter system, but particles finer than 2.5 microns, particularly associated with petroleum fuels such as exhaust fumes, can exceed the filter system.

Particles of 10 microns and smaller such as dust, pollen, mold are called PM10 (particulate matter), and particles formed as a result of combustion, particles such as organic compounds of 2.5 microns and smaller are called PM2.5.

PM2.5 is about 3% the size of human hair and can be detected with an electron microscope. Researchers think that fine particles can accumulate in blood vessels, leading to inflammation of the heart and surrounding blood vessels.

What is the source of fine particles (PM 2.5)?

Some particles (particles) are emitted directly from a particular source, while others are formed when gases and particles chemically interact with each other in the atmosphere.
For example, gaseous sulfur dioxide from power plants reacts with oxygen, and water drops in the air to form sulfuric acid, a secondary particle.

Fine particles, called PM 2.5, can come from a variety of sources. These include power plants, factories, fuel residues from motor vehicles and aircraft, the use of wood and coal in homes, forest fires, agricultural combustion, volcanic eruptions, and dust storms.

The air we breathe is a mixture of gas, water vapor, dust, and chemical compounds. When we breathe, we take the particles in this mixture into our body with the air we breathe.

Large particles are prevented from reaching the lungs by being filtered by the body’s filter system, but particles finer than 2.5 microns, particularly associated with petroleum fuels such as exhaust fumes, can exceed the filter system.

Particles of 10 microns and smaller such as dust, pollen, mold are called PM10 (particulate matter), and particles formed as a result of combustion, particles such as organic compounds of 2.5 microns and smaller are called PM2.5.

PM2.5 is about 3% the size of human hair and can be detected with an electron microscope. Researchers think that fine particles can accumulate in blood vessels, leading to inflammation of the heart and surrounding blood vessels.

What is the source of fine particles (PM 2.5)?
Some particles (particles) are emitted directly from a particular source, while others are formed when gases and particles chemically interact with each other in the atmosphere.
For example, gaseous sulfur dioxide from power plants reacts with oxygen, and water drops in the air to form sulfuric acid, a secondary particle.

Fine particles, called PM 2.5, can come from a variety of sources. These include power plants, factories, fuel residues from motor vehicles and aircraft, the use of wood and coal in homes, forest fires, agricultural combustion, volcanic eruptions, and dust storms.

Protect Yourself Against Fine Particle (PM2.5) Pollution!
Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to air pollution, which is a factor that we cannot individually control, can seriously harm cardiovascular health and increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, arrhythmias, and heart failure, especially in elderly people or people with existing heart disease.

Children, the elderly, and especially individuals with lung and/or heart disease are particularly vulnerable to adverse effects of fine particles in the air, and special precautions should be taken when PM2.5 is at unhealthy levels in the environment. Even if you are healthy, you may experience temporary symptoms if you are exposed to high levels of particle contamination.

People in the risky group should avoid waiting for a long time in places with high air pollution. Industrial zones and areas with heavy traffic are areas with high risk. Indoor activities should be preferred instead of outdoor activities during periods of high air pollution. Those who want to exercise outside should do sports in areas away from traffic, such as forests.

When the amount of PM2.5 is at an unhealthy level, follow these steps to reduce exposure and protect your health;
Whenever possible, keep all windows that allow polluted air, closed.
If you are at risk, use an air cleaner with a HEPA filter.
Do not smoke, light candles, incense, or use devices that emit smoke or gases to prevent the formation of harmful particles and gas (such as carbon monoxide) in indoor environments.
Eat-in a way that increases your body resistance.
If you have to go outside in a heavily polluted area, keep it short and fast, and wear an N95-style face mask.