The Silent Killers in the Air: Uncovering the Terrifying Impact of PM 2.5 and PM 10 on Your Health.

How PM 2.5 and PM 10 are Ruining Lives and What You Can Do About It. PM 10 and PM 2.5 are particles in the air that can cause harm to our health. When the amount of these particles increases, it can make it harder to breathe and irritate our eyes.

Due to increasing number of vehicles and decreasing number of trees, pollution increases every year. In cities like Delhi, air pollution reaches very dangerous levels.

Being exposed to air pollution reduces the immunity of the body. This air is dangerous for the body. Pollution has increased continuously not only in Delhi but in other states/cities, in such a situation, you forget to do workout or walk. Air pollution has become a serious threat to public health.

Every year during October to March the deteriorating air quality becomes fatal for the people. This has become a major concern for the residents of Delhi NCR especially after Diwali.

The main reasons for this are the smoke coming out of vehicles, stubble burning and dust coming out of construction works. In the winter season, cold air flows downwards, due to which particulate matter and dust start getting inhaled into our body. We should be aware of the following gases-(CO2, CO, SO2 and NO2) pollutants.

Government agencies take a variety of measures to reduce particulate matter in the air. This particulate matter is generated from chemicals, fuels, stubble burning during agriculture, road construction and other construction activities. In the long run it can cause respiratory and heart diseases, irritation of the eyes, nose and throat, headache, nausea and serious lung and heart diseases.

According to the World Health Organisation, air pollution is responsible for one out of every nine deaths in the world, thus a total of seven million premature deaths are due to pollution. Including 600,000 children.

Particulate matter of 2.5 microns in size is the most dangerous, which can only be seen with an electron microscope and causes serious lung damage. The natural filter of the human body cannot prevent these particles from entering the body. On the other hand, particulate matter of larger size proves fatal to humans in the long term.

What is ozone?

Ozone is a gas made of three atoms of oxygen which is found in the upper atmosphere of the earth and at the ground level. Whether it is good or bad depends on where it is present.

Ozone found in the upper levels of the air (5 to 11 miles above) acts as a sunscreen, protecting us from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. But if it is present at the ground level as a pollutant (such as ozone from cars) it reacts with sunlight. Ozone is the main component of smog, which can cause an asthma attack by going into the lungs with the breath.

What is PM 10

The problem of pollution in human life is increasing day by day. As humans are developing this problem is increasing. It would not be wrong to say that the speed with which pollution has increased, the existence of human life has been questioned.

Everyone is worried about its loss. Due to pollution people have to face many problems like irritation in eyes, difficulty in breathing, asthma attack etc.

PM stands for Particulate Matter which are small particles present in the air that affect health in many ways. Let us study through this article.

PM, also called particulate matter or particle pollution, is a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets present in the atmosphere. The particles in the air are so small that you cannot see them with the naked eye. Some fragments are so small that they can only be detected using an electron microscope. Particulate pollution includes PM 2.5 and PM 10 which are very dangerous.

What is PM 2.5?

PM is particles with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometers, which is about 3% the diameter of a human hair.

PM 2.5 particles are so small that they can only be detected with the help of electronics. They are much smaller than their PM 10 counterparts. Environmental experts say that PM 10 is also known as the responsible particulate matter.

It contains metal dust and grime particles. PM 10 and 2.5 dust is created by burning of garbage and straw.

Breathing is considered safe only when the amount of PM 2.5 is 60 and the amount of PM 10 is 100.

Sources of particulate matter

It can be caused by both human and natural sources. Primary sources of pollution include automobile emissions, dust and cooking smoke. Secondary sources of pollution can be complex reactions of chemicals such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. These particles mix in the air and pollute it. Apart from these, forest fires, wood burning stoves, burning of farm straw, smoke of industry, dust generated from construction works etc. are the sources of air pollution.

Effects of PM2.5 and PM10 on health

Both PM2.5 and PM10 particles are so small that you cannot see them with your naked eye and they act as gases. When you breathe in, these particles are inhaled into your lungs, which can cause coughing and an asthma attack. There is an increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and many other serious diseases, which can result in premature death.

When PM 2.5 levels are high, smog increases. Children and the elderly are the worst affected by rising particulate matter levels in the air.

Some other diseases that have an impact on health are:

  • breathing problem
  • eye, nose and throat irritation
  • chest strain
  • poor lung function
  • severe respiratory disease
  • Irregular heartbeat and etc.

Who is most at risk from these particles?

Everyone needs air to breathe and by breathing polluted air, one is exposed to air pollution. A study states that urban and industrial areas are more prone to air pollution than rural areas. In addition, children and senior citizens are likely to be severely affected by exposure to air pollution. Air pollution can pose a significant risk to people with heart and lung disease.

The American Heart Association has also warned about the effects of PM2.5 on cardiovascular health and mortality:

How to prevent air pollution?

Do not burn wood or litter plastics as these are the main sources of particulate pollution. Do not smoke in indoor and outdoor places.

How to prevent air pollution?

  • To avoid the problem of air pollution or polluted air, people should use Anti Pollution Face Mask N95 and N99 and should consult a doctor if there is more difficulty.
  • Avoid exercising outside when the pollution level is high.
  • You can also use an air purifier to protect your indoor space from air pollution. Air purifiers can reduce the rate of air pollution inside your home.
  • If air pollution persists for several days, consider moving to an unaffected location.

How to take care of health?

Stay indoors in the early morning, as air quality is at its most dangerous at this time. Avoid going outside when the air quality level is poor. Now a days health department is issuing regular advisory regarding pollution and air quality.

Wear a face mask, it blocks the inhalation of 90-95 particulate matter and can be washed and reused.

Keep the windows of the house closed, even while coming and going in the car, keep the windows closed. If possible, apply an air purifier, because clean air increases the body’s ability to fight diseases. School children and the elderly should be especially careful in winter, as they are most vulnerable. I would recommend wearing a face mask while traveling.

Do you know what should be the level of PM2.5 and PM10 in the air?

PM 10 level should be 100 micro gram cubic meter and PM 2.5 level should be 60 micro gram cubic meter.

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