Thursday, July 26, 2018

How Particulate Matter Negatively Affects Health

Since the age of 14, Levon Termendzhyan has been working in the gas and energy industries. He began his career by pumping gas at a local station in California and rapidly started buying and operating his own gas stations throughout the state. Today, Levon Termendzhyan serves as an equity owner in Viscon USA and Viscon International, distributors of a product that reduces particulate matter (PM) emissions from diesel fuel.

Particulate matter refers to liquid droplets and solid particles found in the air, like dirt, soot, and smoke. Large particles, which have a diameter up to 10 micrometers, are referred to as PM10 particulate matter. Meanwhile, smaller particles, those that are only 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller, are denoted as PM2.5.

Although it may seem inconsequential, PM2.5 particles result in numerous health challenges. Since these particles are small, they are often inhaled deeply and enter the respiratory tract, lungs, and bloodstream. Inhalation of PM2.5 particles leads to numerous short-term health problems, including sneezing, irritation of the nose and eyes, and shortness of breath.

Over time, these short-term issues can cause long-term problems. For example, lung tissue can become inflamed, resulting in several chemicals being released into the body, some of which affect how the heart functions. PM2.5 particles in the bloodstream also alter blood chemistry and increase the risk of clots and heart attacks.

Preexisting conditions are exacerbated by particulate matter as well. Chronic lung diseases are aggravated by the presence of PM2.5 particles, as are asthma and heart disease. Beyond that, long-term exposure to such pollution decreases life expectancy and reduces lung function in children.