Particulate matter is comprised of liquid droplets and solid particles and encompasses a variety of components including acids, organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles. The size of the particulate matter is linked to its ability to cause adverse health effects.
Particles that are less than 10 micrometers in size can pass through the throat and nose and enter into the lungs. The finer the particles are, the greater the threat because of their ability to penetrate the lungs more deeply. Particulate matter has been linked to asthma, bronchitis, emphysema and to aggravation of cardiac disorders.
AirVironment Canada conducts particulate monitoring at various particle sizes for occupational health and safety as well as to provide insight into potential ventilation issues. Monitoring for specific contaminants is also done, especially in the case of industrial facilities.
Health Canada - Health Canada provides information on the health risks associated with particulate matter and ways to reduce exposure in the indoor environment.
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