1. Particulate Matter Pollution and Air Quality
  • The Lowdown: Particulate Matter Pollution

    April 26, 2019

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    Don’t let the size fool you— microscopic in size, particulate matter is a big deal on your air quality. Here’s how you can mitigate its potential impact.

    • You can’t see particulate matter (PM), but it can have an enormous impact on the air quality of your home.

      PM is defined by the Environmental Protection Agency as a complex mixture of solid and/or liquid particles suspended in the air, that vary in size, shape and composition. PM can be made up from a number of components, including acids (nitrates and sulfates), organic chemicals, metals, soil and dust.*

      PM exists outdoors, but it’s also found in all indoor environments, including your home. Here’s a quick primer on PM—its sources and how you can mitigate its potential impact.

      What to know about PM 2.5.

      PM 2.5 is a special category of particulate matter, with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller. These are also called fine inhalable particles. To put this into perspective, a single strand of hair is 30 times larger than fine inhalable particles.*

      Where indoor PM originates.

      It’s easy to think that our homes are clean sanctuaries until we drag in PM from the outdoors, but that’s not the case. While some indoor PM does track in from outside, much indoor PM originates from our very own indoor abodes, often from common household tasks and activities, such as cooking, burning candles and heating chilly rooms with unvented space heaters.

      How to reduce indoor PM exposure.

      Proper ventilation is key. The EPA suggests that homeowners be sure to properly vent appliances, space heaters and fireplaces, and also recommends that HVAC systems receive an annual professional tune-up.* Further, it’s essential to change filters in your HVAC system regularly, at least every three months for Filtrete™ Filters.

      Sources:

      * Environmental Protection Agency