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Pm2.5 Mask Meaning

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The amount of particulate matter in the air at any given time depends on the environment you find yourself in. These particles are released from a variety of sources both indoors and outdoors. When inside, PM levels are typically the same or lower than outside.

The pm2.5 masks is a specialized mask aimed at blocking these PM particles from entering the lungs.

Here are a few things that increase the levels of particulate matter floating around an indoor space:

  • smoking
  • cooking
  • burning candles or fires
  • using kerosene heaters
  • diffusing essential oils
  • cleaning using common chemical products
  • opening doors and windows to outdoor polluted environments
  • using hairsprays, aerosol room freshers or deodorants

Although there are hundreds of sources of outdoor air pollutants, the main contributors that increase the levels of particulate matter outdoors are:

  • vehicles
  • power generators
  • industrial and agricultural emissions
  • residential heating and cooking
  • the manufacture and distribution of chemicals
  • forest fires

Why is it called 2.5?

The 2.5 in PM2.5 refers to the size of the pollutant in micrometers. The smallest thing that the average human eye can perceive is about 0.1 millimeters, which is around the same width as a human hair. So, in order for us to see something as incredibly small as a micrometer, we need to use powerful microscopes.

While it is obvious that breathing in any particles in the air is going to aggravate your airways, experts are particularly worried about the extremely small particles such as PM2.5 as they not only penetrate deep into our lungs but are also so minute that they can even pass into our bloodstream.

Depending on how healthy you are in general, PM2.5 will have different long and short-term negative health effects. When exposed to levels of PM2.5 between to moderate – hazardous range, one may experience the following effects:

  • shortness of breath
  • eye, nose and throat irritation
  • excessive coughing and wheezing
  • diminished lung function and lung disease
  • diminished heart function, sometimes resulting in heart attack
  • asthma attacks
  • death

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