Particulate matter: (Almost) the whole world suffers from it – knowledge

The vast majority of people in the world are exposed to particulate matter pollution that is above the WHO guideline, as shown by model calculations. Even in Germany the air is not clean enough


Benjamin von Brackel

The smaller, the meaner: Under ten micrometers penetrates particulate matter into the nasal cavities. Under 2.5 microns into the bronchi and alveoli. And ultra-fine particles below 0.1 microns can even work their way into the lung tissue and the bloodstream – and cause long-term damage there: The possible consequences range from diseases of the cardiovascular system or the respiratory tract to lung cancer. In 2019 alone, particles with an aerodynamic diameter of 2.5 microns or smaller (PM 2.5) have been responsible for 6.67 million premature deaths in the world.

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