Airborne particulate matter is a combination of solid particles and liquid droplets. Measured in microns—one millionth of a meter—particles visible to the human eye are 50 microns or larger, with a single human hair measuring 100 microns. Particulate matter which may trigger health problems measures 10 microns or smaller, and may be inhaled deep into the respiratory system.

For example, particles 5 microns or larger may be caught in the throat and nasal regions; while particles measuring between 1 and 5 microns may be caught in the trachea (leads to the lungs) and larger lung branches; and particles less than 1 micron in size may reach the alveolar area (tiny air sacs in the lungs where the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place). These smaller particles tend to stay suspended in the air longer and may be inhaled deep into the respiratory system, creating potential health issues.

Particulate matter measuring below two and one half microns in diameter and are referred to as "fine" particles. When a large concentration of these particles are inhaled, it may pose potential health risks. For example, if you are exposed to a large concentration of PM2.5 you may experience coughing, sneezing, running nose or shortness of breath.

Sources of Particulate Matter

During periods of air stagnation, when little wind or air mixing occurs, particle counts outdoors can be higher and the air may appear hazy or foggy. Sources of this particle pollution outside may include vehicle exhaust, construction equipment, burning fuels, smoke and gases produced from power plants. Inside your home, sources can include the following: chemicals from redecoration or new construction, paint, new furniture, tobacco smoke, cooking odors, dust from air condition systems, fireplace smoke, fuel-burning space heaters or even simply burning candles. It is also important to keep in mind smaller particle pollution may travel long distances, sometimes hundreds of miles.

Particulate Matter Solutions

Running an air purifier continuously in high traffic areas of your home may help reduce particulate matter inside your home, improving your indoor air quality. Alen Air Purifiers remove up to 99% of particle pollution as small as .3 microns or larger, with advance HEPA style filtration. Many of our customers report seeing a difference in just 48 hours after turning on an Alen Air Purifier, noting a reduction in dust, odors and allergy symptoms.

Do you have air quality issues in your home? Are you interested in an Alen Air Purifier for you home? Visit the Alen Air Purifier shop page, or call an Alen Air Quality Specialist (800-630-2396) to find the best fit for you home.