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What is PM 2.5 and why should we care?

31 Jul 2019
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- The World Health Organization guidelines on fine-sized particles set an average of 20 µm/m3 per year. However, the majority of people worldwide is living in where ambient fine particles are twice as much as WHO guidelines. -

The PM (particulate matter) is known for particle pollution, a general term in air contamination. The ambient fine dust is classified as PM 2.5 (less than 2.5 µm) and PM 10 (less than µm) particle size in diameter. Recent studies have shown PM 2.5 are particularly dangerous to human health as compared to conventional dust. Exposure to long-term ambient dust particles cause chronic health effects such as asthma, cardiopulmonary diseases, respiratory cancer, type 2 diabetes, infertility, and reduce our lives expectancy. According to the WHO, the number of death from particulate matter is 1.6 million higher than people who die by smoking cigarettes.

The sources of fine particulate matter are automobiles, power generation facilities, fuel combustion, domestic pollution, thermal power plants, and more. The toxic airborne substances include nitrate, sulfate, organic carbon, and heavy metals. Recent studies show that PM 2.5 is related to inflammation, vascular dysfunction, and atherosclerosis when PM 2.5 is infiltrated with bloodstream. Again, PM 2.5 disrupts β cell function in the pancreas which relates to body immune system such as antioxidants. As a result, PM 2.5 can lead to the development of type 2 diabetes or other health complications. 

The Number of People with Chronic Conditions is Rapidly Increasing

Type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest-growing disease affecting millions of people. There is no doubt, environmental pollution affects our health again as well as our acidic lifestyles. We try to improve our quality of life, but more risk factors follow the consequences that we made by polluting the earth. It is important to recognize, the earth we live in is connected directly with our health. Without reducing environmental pollution as well as lifestyle, we would face more challenges and obstacles in the future.

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