If you’re concerned about how the air inside your home or workplace affects your health, you may have researched IAQ topics. IAQ stands for indoor air quality and since we spend the majority of our time in buildings, it’s important. Prolonged exposure to indoor pollutants leads to health issues such as asthma and respiratory diseases. While reading about IAQ, you may have come across the term PM2.5 in reference to air quality. PM stands for particulate matter and the number indicates the size of the particulate. Knowing more about the health effects of PM2.5 should inspire you to take action to limit them in your home and workplace.
What is PM2.5?
PM2.5 is a form of air pollution. It consists of both solids and liquids. For example, dirt and dust are common household solid particles while liquid droplets may result from a nearby power plant. Some of these particles are so tiny they can’t be seen without the aid of an electron microscope. Different designations are given for particles according to their size. For example, PM10 has a diameter of 10 micrometers or smaller while PM2.5 particles are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller.
These particles come from a source such as a nearby construction site or they could consist of dust from an unpaved road. Cars, wildfires, and factories also generate fine inhalable particles that get into our homes and workplaces where we take them into our lungs. These pollutants are also generated from everyday activities such as cooking, burning candles, and using kerosene space heaters. PM2.5 in the air becomes a concern when levels rise. A high concentration of PMs makes the air hazy and there are health effects of PM2.5 and other particulates.
Harmful Health Effects of PM2.5
PM2.5 particles are small enough to get inhaled deep into the lungs. This can result in it serious respiratory problems. These particles can even enter the bloodstream and make it all the way to our vital organs. PMs also irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. Coughing, sneezing, and runny nose are symptoms and shortness of breath can occur as well. Long-term exposure can lead to asthma, chronic bronchitis, and even heart disease. Young children and the elderly may suffer more health effects from PM2.5.
Reducing Your Exposure to PM.25
Of course, limiting exposure to pollutants is one way to avoid negative health effects. Avoid going outdoors when PM levels are elevated. Indoors, avoid burning candles and smoking tobacco. Be aware of how cooking may affect your air quality. Several products are available that limit exposure to particulate matter indoors. For example, air-cleaning devices trap and remove particles thus preventing them from getting into the lungs. These are highly recommended as a way to reduce PMs in the air and purify the air you’re breathing.
Air Purifiers Limit the Effects of PM2.5
Air cleaning devices remove particles from the air and reduce the harmful health effects of PM2.5. That includes pollutants such as pollen, dust, pet dander, and other allergens. Models with smart technology adjust their operation to room conditions by sensing real-time PM levels and the number of people in the room. This saves money on energy costs and prolongs the filter’s life.
Aeramax 290 Air Purifier
The Aeramax 290 and DX95 are ultra-quiet air purifiers that clean the air in rooms up to 600 square feet. Both models feature a True HEPA filtration system that traps up to 99.97% of particles as small as 0.3 microns. Active carbon composites also remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and neutralize odors. These machines work well in houses and apartments as well as offices.
Medify Air Purifiers
A wall-mounted model like the MA-35 saves space in small places. The placement of air purifiers is important to their operation and keeping them off the ground yields better results. The device features True HEPA H13 filters with 4 stages of filtration as well as an active carbon composite. It cleans up to 640 square feet in just 30 minutes thereby limiting the negative health effects of PM2.5.
Testing for Pollutants
If you have concerns about what allergens and pollutants exist in your home or office, a DIY screening kit is another useful tool. These easy-to-use kits return results in a few days. Use them to test for mold, bacteria, and mycotoxins. They are also effective in determining the presence of gasses such as radon.
Prevent PM2.5 from Affecting Your Health
To learn more about air purifiers and how they can protect against the negative health effects of PM2.5, give us a call at 727-572-4550.