Is particulate matter actually a hazardous substance?

Particulate matter comprises particles that are smaller than 10 micrometres and smaller than 2.5 micrometres; they are grouped under the respective designations PM10 or PM 2. The small size of these fine dust particles means that they are recognised as harmful because they can penetrate even the very smallest alveoli with a half-life of up to 400 days.

Every year in Europe around 400,000 people die as a result of contaminated air* even though the quality of our air has improved. There is no safe concentration threshold for particulate matter in the air. Particulate matter is always harmful. **

Also, fine dust particles are small enough to remain suspended in the air for longer periods. In particular, it is much easier for high concentrations to collect in indoor rooms that have no ventilation systems than outdoors.

[*EEA/European Environment Agency / **Federal Environment Agency]

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