Particulate matter, which includes acid sulfates, toxic organic compounds and metals, and insoluble dusts are capable of penetrating to the deeper portions of the respiratory system and producing acute reductions in lung function, increasing the incidence of respiratory disease in children. It can also increase the risk of premature mortality in elderly and ill persons. Traffic on unpaved roads, windblown dust, construction and demolition are all major contributors.
Particulate Matter Effects:
Elevated levels of particulate matter in the air affect all Arizonans. What are the effects of air pollution from particulate matter? Both PM-10 and PM-2.5 are so small they can pass through your throat and nose, enter the lungs, and may even get into the bloodstream. PM-2.5 is believed to pose the greatest health risk because these tiny particles can get stuck deep in the lungs. A February 2007 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found particulate air pollution – particularly PM-2.5 – is strongly linked to increased heart and cardiovascular disease, especially among women. What is noteworthy is everyone can suffer from temporary symptoms due to high amounts of particulate matter in the air. Children, the elderly, people exercising outdoors and those with heart or lung disease or asthma are at an especially high risk to ill effects. (Taken from: http://cleanairmakemore.com/our-air/the-effects/)
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