Fine Particulate Matter - PM2.5

Scientific and technical articles on particle air pollution.

Fine Particulate Matter - PM2.5

Postby Wilberforce » Sat May 23, 2015 8:48 pm

2.1 Fine Particulate Matter - PM2.5

The primary sources of fine particulates in the atmosphere are emissions from combustion
processes. Health research in the lower 48 states and Alaska has found that PM2.5 sized particles
are creating major health problems throughout communities across the United States. For people
in northern states with cold winters, this problem is exacerbated by increased exposure to fine
particulate generated by home heating with wood during periods of extreme cold and extended
wintertime temperature inversions which trap pollutants close to ground level. Smoke can also
be a severe problem during spring and summer wildland fire season. Wildland fires may occur
throughout Alaska but are very common to the Interior.

Wood smoke from home heating has been a major contributor to elevated fine particulate levels
in Southeast Alaska for years. Juneau’s Mendenhall Valley exceeded the PM10 standard3
numerous times in the late 1980s and early 1990s, but successfully reduced particulate matter
levels with an effective wood smoke control program, public education, and woodstove
conversion to pellet stoves and oil-fired space heaters.

Fine particulates have also been a concern in some Interior Alaska communities, especially
during the winter months when extremely strong inversions trap emitted particles close to the
surface. In the smaller, rural villages, this problem is normally associated with wood smoke. In
the large communities like Fairbanks, which is designated as non-attainment for the 24-hour
PM2.5 NAAQS, the pollution is a mix primarily comprising wood smoke from woodstoves and
hydronic heaters, but also including emissions from coal-fired power plants, vehicular traffic,
and oil-fired heating systems.

PDF ... rkplan.pdf
• The Surgeon General has determined that there is no safe level of exposure to ambient smoke!

• If you smell even a subtle odor of smoke, you are being exposed to poisonous and carcinogenic chemical compounds!

• Even a brief exposure to smoke raises blood pressure, (no matter what your state of health) and can cause blood clotting, stroke, or heart attack in vulnerable people. Even children experience elevated blood pressure when exposed to smoke!

• Since smoke drastically weakens the lungs' immune system, avoiding smoke is one of the best ways to prevent colds, flu, bronchitis, or risk of an even more serious respiratory illness, such as pneumonia or tuberculosis! Does your child have the flu? Chances are they have been exposed to ambient smoke!
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