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Particulate Matter (PM)

Video PSAs

EPA's Burn Wise program released two video public service announcements (PSAs) to help the public reduce PM pollution from wood smoke.

Thumbnail image of Wet Wood is a Waste YouTube screen

Thumbnail image of Split Stack Cover Store YouTube screen

Your Air Quality

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The AIRNow Web site offers daily air quality forecasts for ozone pollution as well as real-time air quality conditions for over 300 cities across the U.S.

"Particulate matter," also known as particle pollution or PM, is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets. Particle pollution is made up of a number of components, including acids (such as nitrates and sulfates), organic chemicals, metals, and soil or dust particles.

The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. EPA is concerned about particles that are 10 micrometers in diameter or smaller because those are the particles that generally pass through the throat and nose and enter the lungs. Once inhaled, these particles can affect the heart and lungs and cause serious health effects. EPA groups particle pollution into two categories:

  • "Inhalable coarse particles," such as those found near roadways and dusty industries, are larger than 2.5 micrometers and smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter.

  • "Fine particles," such as those found in smoke and haze, are 2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller. These particles can be directly emitted from sources such as forest fires, or they can form when gases emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles react in the air.

Basic Information - Basics about particle pollution.

Health - Effects of particle pollution.

PM Standards - Links to technical information related to setting the national air quality standards for particle pollution.

PM Designations - Regional, state and local information related to PM nonattainment.

PM Implementation - Programs and requirements for reducing particle pollution.

Regulatory Actions - Links to proposed and final rules, fact sheets, and other rulemaking documents.

Nonattainment Areas - Status of nonattainment areas (the Green Book)

PM Research - Links to PM research and development, monitoring, and daily reporting and forecasting.

Agriculture - Fact Sheet - Coarse PM (PM10) standards and agriculture.

Air Quality Trends - Progress made in reducing particle pollution.

Air Emission Sources - Summarizes particulate matter emissions by source at national, state and local levels.

Residential Wood Smoke - Burn Wise is a partnership program that emphasizes the importance of burning the right wood, the right way, in the right wood-burning appliance to protect your home, health, and the air we breathe.

Related Links - Other information related to particle pollution.

State Implementation Plan Status and Information - identifies how states and EPA work together to ensure that the agency's National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are met and maintained.


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