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Thefine dustcan be compared to a slow and silent killer, they are so small that they can be inhaled and as they build up in the respiratory system. When it comes tofine dustusually refers to the so-called PM 10 but in the last ten years scientists have highlighted another form of pollution linked tofine dustfrom a smaller diameter, the PM 2.5.
How big are the fine dust and what do the terms PM 10 and PM 2.5 mean?
Thefine dustPM 10 have a diameter of 10 microns, as well as thefine dustPM 2.5, measure only 2.5 microns. To understand these dimensions, just imagine the thickness of a hair, thefine dustthey have a diameter 30 times smaller than that of our hair!
What are the health risks associated with fine particles?
If thefine dustfrom a diameter of 10 microns they are inhalable and accumulate in the lungs, those with a diameter of 2.5 microns are even breathable, which means that they can penetrate our lungs up to accumulate in the blood and reach various parts of our body. So, if the damage related tofine dustof PM 10 are limited to the respiratory system, those related tofine dustPM 2.5 could also extend to other fabrics.
What are thedamageenvironmental offine dust?
Everyone knows the fog but few people know that in many Italian cities, the main cause of the reduced visibility dictated by the fog, is caused precisely byfine dust. Other environmental damage offine dustare linked to the disfigurement of monuments, finds and stones: thefine dustthey are adjuvants of the action of acid rain. The worst damages are those that thefine dustcause to human health and also to fauna: thefine dustthey are carried everywhere by the wind and are deposited in agricultural soil as on the road surface, car traffic raises these dust and passers-by inhale / breathe them, unknowingly damaging themselves. Again, thefine dustthey can accumulate in waterways or in the soil until they reach the aquifers, making the lakes and streams acidic thus modifying the nutrient balance of the water and river basins.
There are differences betweenfine dust, atmospheric dust, total suspended dust eparticulate matter?
These terms refer to substances suspended in the air without any reference to the size or nature of these particles (fibers, heavy metals, liquid, gaseous, solid pollutants, carbonaceous particles…). When it comes tofine dustreference is made toparticulate matterorsuspended particulate matter that is, we are talking about all those particles dispersed in the atmosphere (or accumulated in the soil and in waterways) that have a diameter ranging from a few nanometers up to 500 microns, which is why, specifically, a division is made betweenfine dustPM 10 and PM 2.5. Thefine dustwith a diameter greater than 10 microns are defined as "coarse particulate matter", The attention to these fine particles is not such as to cause great concern as they manage to overcome the larynx and penetrate the human respiratory system only minimally. Again, the environment is affected by the drama ofultra-fine particles also called nanopowders (ultrafine particulate matter)it is breathable dust that can reach the pulmonary alveoli, these have a diameter of less than 1 micron while the nanopowders are in the order of magnitude of nanometers (in order of description, PM 1, PM 01 and PM 0.001).
Where do fine dust come from?
As is clear when it comes to fine dustit refers to a large amount of particles so there is no single source. Generalizing it can be said that thefine dustsmaller ones are mainly formed from combustion residues. In Italy, unfortunately, the maximum limit offine dustestablished by the EU (which, among other things, has a ceiling far higher than that set by the World Health Organization) is exceeded in many geographical areas. For further information, you can read the European Report with the situation in Italy.