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Last updated: May 16, 2019

What Does Particulate Mean?

A particulate is a tiny piece of solid matter or liquid droplet in the atmosphere. These usually refer to airborne particles and are suspended in the atmosphere as an air particulate mixture.

Particulate matter can originate from human or natural activities, but also from the influences the weather, particularly the precipitation. Some forms of particulate matter can be harmful to human health.

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Safeopedia Explains Particulate

Particulates are various shapes, sizes, and states of matter. Big particulates are called size PM 10 which are between 2.5 to 10 micrometers and can be suspended in the air for hours. Small ones are called PM size 2.5, which are those smaller than 2.5 meters and can be suspended in the air for days or weeks. Smaller ones can stay in the air longer and travel farther. They originate from rocks, sand, dirt, dust, smoke, mold, spores, and pollen.

Particulates pose threats to human respiratory health. When we inhale particulates, they stick to the walls of the airways of our lungs. Lungs trap them by mucous and exhale them by coughing or swallowing. Exposures to harmful particulates lead to coughing, asthma, respiratory diseases and even death.


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