Particulate matter pollution


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PM is a complex mixture of air borne particles that differ in size, origin and chemical composition, all of which are <10 µm in size.
US EPA described PM pollution as ‘mixture of mixtures’.
PM is among the most harmful of all air pollutants.

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Particulate matter pollution

  1. 1. Particulate matter pollution Presented by Dr. B. Victor., Ph. D Email : Blog:
  2. 2. Presentation outline• What is particulate matter ?• Sources ,types and sizes of PM.• Characteristics of PM• Particle pollution.• Particle deposition in human lungs.• Adverse health effects.• People at risk to particle pollution.• Environmental impacts.• Conclusion.
  3. 3. Particulate matter (PM)• PM is a complex mixture of air borne particles that differ in size, origin and chemical composition, all of which are <10 µm in size.• E.g. dust, smoke, soot Suspended Respirable Particulate Particulate Suspended Matter, PM Matter, SPM Particles, RSP Fine particles soot
  4. 4. Facts about PM pollution• PM is one of the six EPA ‘criteria pollutants’.• PM has no fixed composition. The particles may consist either of only one chemical (e.g. sulphate, sulphuric acid, or lead oxide ) OR a number of pollutants ( organic chemicals, metals, dust ).• US EPA described PM pollution as ‘mixture of mixtures’.• PM is among the most harmful of all air pollutants.
  5. 5. Six criteria pollutantsParticulate matter PM VOCs SO2 criteria pollutants Lead NOx CO
  6. 6. Sources of particulate matterNatural Particulates Anthropogenic Originates from particulates volcanoes, Originates from Dust storms, Burning fossil fuels,Forest and grassland fires, Incinerating wastes and Living vegetation and Smelting metals Sea spray.
  7. 7. PM• PM composed of liquid aerosol particles and solid aerosol particles –suspended in and move with the air.• Aerosol are droplets of liquids.• Generally below 5 µm size.
  8. 8. Types of PM particlesPrimary particles• Directly emitted from sourcesSecondary particles• Form as a result of the interaction of chemicals such as SO2, NOx and VOCs with other compounds in the air.
  9. 9. Sources of PM and PM precursors• Mobile sources – Vehicles – VOCs , NO2, PM• Stationary sources – power plants, factories – NO2, SO2, PM• Area sources – dry cleaners, gas stations – VOCs.• Natural sources – forest fires, volcanoes, PM
  10. 10. Particle sizes PM10 PM 2.5 PM 0.1 Ultra-fine particles Fine particlesCoarse particles
  11. 11. Size comparison of particles
  12. 12. Characteristics of particles • Inhalable coarse particles, Diameter range 10 -2.5 microns. • Undergo rapid sedimentation • Occur near roadways and dusty industries.PM10 • Bypass the body’s natural defenses in the nose and throat and enter lungs. • Fine particles, particle diameter 2.5 microns. • Remains suspended in the air and can travel extremely long distances. • Emitted from power plants, industries, and automobiles.PM 2.5 • Penetrate deeper into the lungs and damage lung tissues. • Ultra-fine particles, nano-particulates, smaller than 0.1 micron diameter. • Consist primarily of inorganic ions, hydrocarbons and metals. • Pass from lung tissue into blood stream.PM 0.1 • Circulate like oxygen molecules.
  13. 13. Suspended particulate matter (SPM) • About 100 microns in diameter Dust • Removed in the nasal passages • e.g. coal dust, cement dustFumes • Suspended solids, <I micron in diameter. • Zinc or lead oxides Mist • Liquid droplets, diameter <2.0 microns • e.g. Sulphuric acid mist smoke • Solid particles, 0.05 – 1.0 microns • Incomplete combustion of fossil fuelsAerosol • Liquid or solid aerosols, <1.0 micron.
  14. 14. Major features of particles • Inhalable particles PM10 • Deposit in the extra thoracic /upper tracheo-branchial region PM 2.5 • Fine particles • Deposit in deeper lung PM 0.1 • Ultra-fine particles • Pass into the circulatory system
  15. 15. Sources of particle pollution• Motor vehicle emissions• Power generation• Industrial combustion• Metal smelting• Wood / biomass burning• Construction / demolition• Road dust
  16. 16. Determinants of PM concentrationWeather Stability Height of Temperature wind Turbulence precipitation Topography smoke (Air Vertical Of gasespatterns movement) stack
  17. 17. Particle deposition in the lungs Coarse • Deposit in the upper respiratory tract and large airways (nose and throat) and areparticles cleared out. Fine • Penetrate deep into the lungs and reach terminal bronchioles and alveoli.particles • Stay there longer periods of time.Ultra-fine • Enter the blood and travel through out the body.particles Particle size is the most important factor for target tissue deposition
  18. 18. Potential health effects of PM Impact on pulmonary system Lung injury Altered lung function Aggravation of pulmonary disease Altered pulmonary immune response
  19. 19. Adverse health effects• Irritate the eye, nose and throat.• Inflammation of lung tissue.• Decreased lung function.• Development of chronic lung disease.• Severity of asthma attacks in children.• Pre-term birth and low birth weight.• Premature death in people with heart and lung disease.
  20. 20. People at risk (sensitive human population )1. Children under 18 age.2. Adults 65 and older.3. Anyone with chronic lung diseases such as asthma, chronic bronchitis or emphysema.4. Anyone with a cardiovascular disease.5. Anyone with diabetes.
  21. 21. Environmental impact• Impairment of visibility- fine particles reduce visibility.• Damage to environment – particles can be carried over long distances by wind and settle on ground or water. They make lakes and streams acidic, deplete nutrients in soil and damage sensitive forests and farm crops.• Aesthetic effects – settling particles on statues and monuments can stain or damage stone and other materials.
  22. 22. Health effects of long-term exposure to anthropogenic particulates• Asthma• Bronchitis• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).• Pneumonia• Upper respiratory tract or lower respiratory tract disorders.• Lung cancer.
  23. 23. About the presenter• Dr.B.Victor is a highly experienced postgraduate biology teacher, recently retired from the reputed educational institution - St. Xavier’ s College, Palayamkottai, India-627001.• He was the dean of sciences and assistant controller of examinations.• He has more than 32 years of teaching and research experience• He has taught a diversity of courses ranging from pre- university to post graduate classes.• Send your comments to :