Air Quality Guide for Particle Pollution
Harmful particle pollution is one of our nation’s most common air pollutants. Use the chart below to help reduce your exposure and protect your health. For your local air quality forecast, visit www.airnow.gov.
Key Facts to Know About Particle Pollution:
- Particle pollution can cause serious health problems – including asthma attacks, heart attacks, strokes and early death.
- Particle pollution can be a problem at any time of the year, depending on where you live.
- You can reduce your exposure to pollution and still get exercise! Use daily Air Quality Index (AQI) forecasts at www.airnow.gov to plan your activity.
What is particle pollution?Particle pollution comes from many different types of sources. Fine particles (2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller) include power plants, industrial processes, vehicle tailpipes, woodstoves, and wildfires. Coarse particles (between 2.5 and 10 micrometers) come from crushing and grinding operations, road dust, and some agricultural operations.
Why is particle pollution a problem?
Particle pollution is linked to a number of health problems, including coughing, wheezing, reduced lung function, asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes. It also is linked to early death.
Do I need to be concerned?
While it’s always smart to pay attention to air quality where you live, some people may be at greater risk from particle pollution. They include:
How can I protect myself?
Use AQI forecasts to plan outdoor activities. On days when the AQI forecast is unhealthy, take simple steps to reduce your exposure:
When particle levels are high outdoors, they can be high indoors – unless the building has a good filtration system.
Keep particles lower indoors:
Can I help reduce particle pollution?
Yes! Here are a few tips.
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