Particulate Matter

Particulate matter (PM) is the general term for the mixture of solid particles and/or liquid droplets found in the air. Primary particles are those emitted directly to the atmosphere—for example, dust, dirt, and soot (black carbon). Secondary particles form in the atmosphere due to complex chemical reactions among gaseous emissions and include sulfates, nitrates, ammoniums, and organic carbon compounds. For example, sulfate particulates can form when sulfur dioxide emissions from industrial facilities and power plants undergo chemical reactions in the atmosphere.

The EPA tracks two sizes of particulate matter: PM10 and PM2 5. PM10 are all particles less than or equal to ten

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