Air Pollution 101

Most people don’t realize that Particulate Matter, or PM, is in every cubic inch of air we breathe. PM comes in two sizes, large: 2.5 – 10 microns or about 25 to 100 times thinner than a human hair and small: under 2.5 microns. Regardless of size, these particles are made of everything from organic matter like pollen, mold spores and dust and dirt to man-made particulates like smoke and other chemical compounds.

Once created, both large and small particles are carried by the wind from a few hundred yards for the heavier, larger particles up to hundreds of miles for the smaller compounds. They are created from grinding soil and rock, the release of pollen or spores from plants, burning materials or chemical releases. Many contributors to PM in the air, and some of the worst, are man-made such as automobiles and power plants.

When you take a breath, all the particles that are in the air travel into your respiratory system as well. These particulates can have significant effects depending on what these particles are and how far they travel into your body. They can cause anything from shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing to asthma, lung disease like emphysema or even cancer.

Sweepers can help alleviate excess dust and other particulates that find their way into the air and into your lungs.