As the pandemic continues with new variants, both business owners and homeowners worry about the quality of air indoors. After all, we spent the vast majority of our lives breathing indoor air. If you suffer from allergies and asthma, this topic of indoor air quality, (IAQ) is likely already on your radar. No matter your familiarity with IAQ topics, here is some information to help you answer the questions, What is PM 0.3, and why it is referenced so much?
What is PM 0.3?
If you’ve researched indoor air quality topics, you’ve probably seen the initials PM followed by a number. For example PM 0.3. The PM stands for “particulate matter” which is a mix of solid particles and liquid droplets. This includes things such as dirt, dust, smoke, and metals, but also car and factory emissions. These pollutants are small, too tiny, in fact, to be seen by the naked eye.
Size is important when it comes to particle pollution and that’s why numbers matter. For example, a particle that is 10 micrometers in diameter or larger is filtered out by your respiratory system. Coughing and sneezing expel them from your body. This includes dust, bacteria, and certain viruses. However, particles that are 10 micrometers or smaller (PM10) pass through the nose and throat. Once in the lungs, they can trigger health issues. The danger with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, and its many variants, is that these particles are much smaller than 10 PM micrometers. In fact, they are smaller than PM 0.3 which is why they are referenced so much.
Types of Particulate Matter
Particulate matter includes the following:
Sources of Particulate Matter
PMs come from a variety of sources, both natural and manmade. These include:
- Power plants
- Woodburning stoves
- Tobacco smoke
- Dirt roads
The Dangers of PM 0.3
Understanding what is PM 0.3 makes us aware of the dangers of COVID-19 because the diameter of some coronavirus particles falls into the range of 0.06 to 0.14 microns. That means these particles move differently from larger ones. It also means their movement is erratic. Because they are so light, they often collide with other particles and change direction often. Tiny particles, such as the coronavirus, also bind to larger respiratory droplets and then get expelled when an infected person coughs or sneezes. N95 masks offer the best protection against this type of aerosol transmission, however, air purifiers are effective in trapping the virus as well. More on that later. First, let’s look at some of the dangers posed by PM 0.3.
Long-Term Exposure to PM 0.3
Short-term exposure to PM 0.3 may trigger allergy and asthma symptoms. This causes discomfort for sure, but long-term exposure poses greater risks. In addition to virus transmission mentioned above, what inhaling PM 0.3 does is pose the risk of respiratory and heart diseases such as cardiac arrhythmias and coronary artery disease. It may lead to chronic bronchitis as well.
Portable Air Purifiers to Remove PM 0.3
Air cleaning technology such as air purifiers protects against the dangers of particulate matter. These devices trap PMs, including viruses, thus preventing them from circulating. Models are available for both homes and offices.
Choosing the Right Air Purifier
When choosing an air purifier, keep the following things in mind.
The filter is important to how effective the device is at removing PMs. Choose a model with a True HEPA filter. For example, Aeramax air purifiers use a 4-stage filtration system to remove particulates. First, a carbon filter removes large contaminants then a HEPA filter traps up to 99.97 percent of remaining pollutants as small as PM 0.3. In addition, an anti-microbial treated HEPA filter reduces bacterial growth on the filter while PlasmaTrue™ Bipolar Ionization destroys airborne pathogens using electrically charged atoms.
Smart technology improves the efficiency and performance of air purifiers. For example, EnviroSmart technology uses sensors to detect motion and sound. Once the device determines room occupancy, it adjusts its performance accordingly.
Chose a model according to the size of the room. For example, the AeraMax Professional II works well in rooms between 150 and 250 square feet. while the AeraMax Professional IV works in rooms up to 1,100 square feet. At home, the AeraMax 290 is recommended for rooms from 300 to 600 square feet.
To learn more about air cleaning technology and what it does to stop PM 0.3, call WTI | Pure Air Control Services at 1-800-422-7873 or visit our contact page. We can also answer your questions about DIY testing kits, home HVAC ionizers, and our upcoming air quality sensors.