Why air quality monitoring is important
Particulate Matter, abbreviated as ‘PM’, is a mixture of airborne solid particles and liquid droplets that can be inhaled by human beings, and may cause serious health problems in industrial zones. PM includes particles with different characteristics – i.e. shape, optical properties, dimension and chemical composition – but it is mostly divided into finer categories based on the particle size information.
Now a days, different PM categories are usually reported under the common nomenclature of PMx, where ‘x’ defines the maximum particle diameter in the airborne particle mixture or ‘aerosol’. As an example, PM2.5 defines inhalable particles with a diameter of generally 2.5 micrometers (hospital hygiene as an example) and smaller, PM10 particles with a diameter of 10 micrometers and smaller, and so forth for other applications.
Ripples IOT provides wireless environment monitoring solutions based on high precision air quality dust sensor capable of detecting 0.5µm particles. Compared to other vendor models, our solutions have the capability to intake and analyse greater air volume, providing more consistent and accurate results for environment air quality monitoring.
Where air quality & PM matters
The specific PM categories of PM10 and PM2.5 have been historically identified by governments in developed nations as important monitoring levels to assess the quality of the air we breathe in industrial and domestic zones. PM10 particles irritate exposed mucous such as the eyes and throat and PM2.5 particles travel all the way through the lungs into the pulmonary alveoli (the basic unit of mammal ventilation).
New categories like PM1.0 and PM4.0 are also finding their way into indoor air quality monitoring devices as these new outputs provide additional information to the traditional PM10 and PM2.5 levels, enabling a better particle pollution analysis in manufacturing shop floor, warehouses, public health zones etc and the development of new air quality device specific actions based on the detected aerosol type (e.g. industrial dust vs. kitchen smoke).
The common definition of PM includes particles that are no smaller than 100 nanometers in size. Particles smaller than 100 nm are instead reported as ‘ultrafine particles’ or ‘UFPs’ and are not covered in this article. Within the above-mentioned PM definition, which thus includes particles from 0.1 to 10 micrometers in size, the smaller the particles are, the deeper they can penetrate through our respiratory system and into our bloodstream, posing a higher hazard to our health.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that airborne particulate matter as a Group 1 carcinogen and as the biggest environmental risk to health facing humanity now, with responsibility for about 1 in every 9 deaths annually.