The Definitive Comparative Guide to Particulate Matter

What is Particulate Matter, How are PM Levels Measured?

Particulate matter or PM is a term used to describe a type of air pollutant that consists of particles suspended in the air. In the United States, PM10 specifically refers to particles with a diameter of 10 micrometers or less and PM2.5 refers to those with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less.

Particulate matter is measured with air quality sensors or meters, however, the meters are typically very inaccurate and the cost of an accurate meter becomes quite expensive. Therefore, it becomes pointless having a cheap meter and cost prohibitive for an accurate particulate matter meter.

What is the Difference Between PM10 & PM2.5?

PM10 is the acronym for particulate matter 10 micrometers or less in diameter. PM2.5 is the acronym for particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 micrometers or less. PM2.5 has been known to be more harmful to humans as it can penetrate deep into our lungs and cause serious health problems such as asthma, heart disease, and lung cancer.

PM10 is a mix of dust, smoke from burning coal, smog, pollen from trees and other sources that are smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter. When these particles enter your lungs, they can cause coughing and asthma attacks as well as trigger heart disease and lung cancer among others


How Does PM1 compare to PM10 vs PM2.5?

PM1 is a standard for measuring the concentration of suspended particulate matter, while PM2.5 and PM10 are the more commonly used units.

PM1 is a standard, which is defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. A concentration of PM1 will be determined by the concentration of dust particles in a volume of air, while PM2.5 and PM10 are units that measure concentrations of individual particles in a volume of air.

PM10 is a more commonly used measurement than PM2.5 because it measures larger particles in a volume of air, while PM2.5 measures smaller particles in a volume to determine what’s going on with pollution levels from airborne particulate matter from various sources such as cars and factories.


What Are the Health Risks of a High Level of Particulate Matter?

Particulate matter, or PM2.5, is the main component of air pollution that can cause health problems. It is created when fossil fuels are burnt or when wood and other organic materials are not fully oxidized.

The risks of PM2.5 to human health include suffocation, heart attacks, irregular heartbeat, lung cancer and asthma attacks.

PM2.5 is also known as fine particulate matter because it contains smaller particles than PM10 (coarse particulate matter). The EPA recommends that levels should not exceed 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air pressure in order to avoid long-term serious effects on people’s health (source).


PM 0.1 Ultra Fine Particles


PM0.3 is a tiny particle (solid or liquid) in the air that is only 0.3 micrometers in size. They can be inhaled, depending on the composition of the particle, it can result in breathing problems and even asthma attacks.

Ultrafine particles (UFP) are 0.1 micrometer in size and often include carbon, metals, organic aerosols and inorganic ions (sulphate, nitrate and ammonium).

There are many sources of UFPs, including byproducts of combustion like diesel oil or gas cooking.

There are more studies suggesting ultrafine particles are directly related to serious, hospital admissions for respiratory diseases such as asthma and bronchitis and cardiovascular disease such as stroke and heart attacks

Ultrafine particles (specifically nanoparticles and microparticles) may cause damage to macrophages and they release inflammatory mediators that can impact alveoli. They have been shown to increase the permeability of epithelial cells, which leads to damaging effects, such as airway inflammation.

Conclusion: A Comparison of 3 Different Types of Particulate