Particulate matter: The silent killer

Particulate matter: The silent killer

With more than four million deaths worldwide in a year, causing cardiovascular, respiratory and cancer diseases, crop damage, deterioration of life in low-income communities and with only a size of 2 microns (0.00002m), particulate matter is not an issue to ignore.

Its size makes it imperceptible to the human eye; however it is more present than ever in our daily lives. Particulate matter is a set of solid and liquid particles, among which can be found: minerals, water, ammonia, soot, sulfates and other elements that together can be harmful. All of this suspended in the air we breathe.

According to the WHO, it is an indicator of air pollution, and is represented by the acronym PM (particulate matter), with PM10 being the largest with a diameter of 10 microns and the finest, PM2.5 with a diameter of 2.5 millionths of a meter (0.000025 meters).

Fig. 1 Maximum amount recommended by the WHO for better air quality

Taking into account that a human being breathes around 8,600 liters of air per day, in 24 hours we consume more than 172 micrograms of PM10 and 86 micrograms of PM2.5. Of course, it seems an insignificant figure, but if we take it to annual figures we would understand the amount of counterproductive organic and inorganic compounds that enter our body.

“PM2.5 can cross the pulmonary barrier and enter the blood system” Source: World Health Organization

It’s not all bad news. Thank you to the different studies that have been carried out over many years by scientific organizations, environmental departments, health institutes and of course the health and air quality guidelines developed by the WHO, this small but powerful enemy was brought to the fore.

One of the ways of measuring PM10 and PM2.5 is by passing a fixed flow of air through a grid; the particulate material will be fixed in the filters. Then, from a process of weighing and relationship between the flows, the concentration of particles in the air is obtained. This method is primarily gravimetric. There are also specialized sensors for these particles.

The main sources of generation of particulate matter are combustion processes, atmospheric reactions, cement production, oil refineries, industrial activities in general, and transportation (un-stabilized communication routes, resuspension of particles by vehicle traffic, highways in mines or agricultural fields, etc.).

That is why companies have come up with more and more methods for dust suppression. Water is the most current, but not the most efficient. Simple reasons such as lack of information and practicality have led to water to be the main resource. However, we live in an era of ecological reflection, giving birth to products that allow a sustainable tomorrow.

At Eco-Soil Group we offer cutting-edge technological products that are environmentally friendly to fight particulate matter present in any type of soil. Allowing you to choose between a complete stabilization or topical application, our soil stabilizer esoliTSS™ can help you stabilize the soil while suppressing dust. Furthermore, we also have our high-end dust suppressant synthetic fluid econTDS™ which can control dust for long period of times with only one application.

econTDS™ prevents the suspension of particulate matter with just one application that can last several months and even years. Our engineering team also offers you a dust control maintenance programme so that you can optimize the use of your resources in the best way, taking into account the type of soil, weather conditions, and traffic, among others.

“Clean air is important for a healthy life”, sounds trivial, doesn’t it? But particulate matter is one of those invisible enemies that increasingly pollute our main breath of existence. Do not hesitate; find out how to avoid it with us.

If you need help with your dust control problems, This is what you need to do

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