Particulate Matter FAQs
What is particulate matter?
Particulate matter (PM) is a mixture of particles that usually consist of inorganic and organic chemicals, carbon, sulfates, nitrates, metals, acids, and semi-volatile compounds.
What is the source of the particulate matter?
Particulates can come from a number of sources including household cleaners, chemical air fresheners, cigarette smoke, and gas stoves and heaters that are not ventilated properly.
Who is at risk?
Children inhale at greater rates than adults and are at greater risk for inhaling particulate matter. Their bodies are more susceptible to damage from particulates. Children and adults with asthma are also at greater risk.
How do I know if I am affected by particulate matter?
People may experience a sore throat, burning eyes, wheezing, shortness of breath, tightness of chest, and chest pain due to breathing particulates. Exposure to Particulate Matter can trigger asthma symptoms, in both children and adults, as well as increase risk to respiratory and cardiovascular health.
How can I prevent exposure to particulate matter?
Green cleaning is one of the most simple ways to clear the air. Replace harsh cleaning products with less toxic alternatives. This includes putting away the air fresheners and incense. Use essential oils instead. For more ideas, see the resources section of this page.
Environmental tobacco smoke is an especially harmful particulate. Make your home smoke free by helping people to quit or taking the smoking outside. Be sure that outside smokers stand far away from the building.
Properly maintaining and venting gas stoves and while using gas heaters is also important.
Many hobby and craft items and construction materials can also put particulates into the air. Read the labels of the products you use and follow the manufacturer’s directions for ventilation. Consider moving children out of the home when using especially harsh materials like adhesives.
What the short video below to learn more about Polyvinyl Chloride and its healthy effects!
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