Particulates in the air affect the nose, eyes, throat, and lungs of everyone in the vicinity. When someone has cardiovascular disease or a compromised immune system, these airborne and miniscule pieces of dust stimulate ongoing respiratory problems. These particles aren’t just caused by a dusty house. They can also be mold spores, pet dander, smoke, or pollen that trigger the onset of asthma. If the particles have carcinogenic chemicals attached, they have the potential to cause lung cancer.
Different Types of Particles
There are different types of particles. Particulate matter (PM) is a combination of liquids and solids. They consist of both organic and inorganic matter. They may contain metals, carbon, nitrates, sulfates, semi-volatile compounds, and even acids.
Particle size influences the way that particulates travel through the respiratory tract. How and where they deposit will determine the health affects, according to researchers. The finer the particulate, the deeper it is able to penetrate into the lungs. Coarse particles are trapped early and are deposited in the nose and throat. Unfortunately, fine and ultra fine particles are abundant. Due to their increases numbers, they actually have greater overall surface area which makes them considerably more toxic.
Inside of the home, people are exposed to PM on a regular basis. These may come from cigarettes, furnaces (especially wood burning stoves), and cooking. In addition, PM from the outdoors often enters the home. Since people spend most of their time inside of their homes, indoor exposure levels to PM are often high.
Some people are more susceptible to the adverse effects of particulate matter. In particular, people who have either cardiovascular disease or respiratory problems as well as the elder are more affected than others. Anyone who has asthma, respiratory infections, or bronchitis should be concerned about the level of particulates within their home. There is a great deal of research being done to understand why some groups experience more problems with PM than others. Active children move more air through their bodies per pound than adults do which makes them more vulnerable to PM exposure.
Exposure and Symptoms
Exposure to particulate matter causes symptoms that are similar to other environmental stimuli. These stimuli include molds, allergens, ozone, and other air pollutants. Determining the source of distress can be quite difficult.
A simple way to reduce or eliminate potential health problems due to PM exposure is to avoid being exposed to vehicle exhaust, wood smoke, cigarettes, and other sources of pollution. Pay attention to air quality alerts. If you find that you are experiencing respiratory problems or cardiovascular symptoms on alert days, talk to your health professional. Some symptoms include chronic coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, burning eyes, wheezing, or wheezing. It’s a good idea to arrange for a certified ductless air conditioning company to do an air quality test at your home, as well.