What is PM 2.5
PM stands for Particulate Matter. Miniscule airborne hazards are referred to as particulate matter or PM.
PM10 is particulate matter 10 micrometers or less in diameter, PM2.5 is particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter. PM2.5 is generally described as fine particles. By way of comparison, a human hair is about 100 micrometres, so roughly 40 fine particles could be placed on its width.
PM2.5 are tiny particles in the air that reduce visibility and cause the air to appear hazy when levels are elevated. PM 2.5 tends to stay suspended in the air longer as they are lighter, leading to deposits in your nose, throat, lungs or even the arteries and can even lead to a heart attack.
There are different types of particulate matter
- Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM)
- Thoracic and Respirable Particles
- Inhalable Coarse Particles (diameter between 2.5 micrometres to 10 micrometres – PM 10)
- Fine Particles (diameter 2.5 micrometres or less – PM 2.5)
- Ultrafine Particles
The size of the particulate matter rather than the chemical composition is the crucial factor here. The size determines where the particulate matter comes to rest in the respiratory tract. The cilia and the mucus in the nose and the thoracic region can filter out the SPM and thoracic Respirable particles.
The dangerous ones are the PM 10 and PM 2.5 that can penetrate the bronchi and the lungs thereby causing health problems.
The PM 2.5 can penetrate into the gas exchange region of the lungs. Thus, it can cause problems like respiratory infections, asthma, and even heart disease.
Disposable PM2.5 filters
These filters are flat and are effective. They can be used continuously for 1 week.
Remember, no mask is 100% effective at protecting from viral transmission. The most effective thing you can do is practice proper hands hygiene (20 seconds washing with soap) and practice appropriate social distancing.