The term particulate matter refers to the combination of liquid or solid particles that are present in the air. The size of particles varies with some types being visible to the unaided eye while others are only visible through microscopy. These particulates can originate from a wide variety of sources, such as combustion, the breaking apart of larger materials, the wind blowing particles from settled dust, and myriad of other sources. In recent decades various agencies and officials have linked elevated particles to having a negative impact on indoor air quality and health.
Particulate matter with a 2.5 micrometer aerodynamic diameter or smaller may pose special health risks and are monitored by the EPA. Particles of that size are respirable and are not removed by the lungs’ mucus and cilia. Exposures to elevated fine or ultra-fine particulates can lead to negative health effects such as heart attacks, reduced lung function, asthma, and various pulmonary issues. Elevated particulate matter in outdoor air can cause environmental issues such as reduced visibility, acid-rain, and damage to ecological systems.
Indoor Science recently had a project where construction dust from one condo unit caused an extremely high level of particles in the neighboring unit. If you are concerned about particulate matter affecting indoor air quality at your property, please contact Indoor Science to assess the situation.