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Dealing with Airborne Particulate Matter Indoors

particulate matter in Chicago, IL

Particulate matter (PM) is an airborne suspension of solid and liquid particles. Smaller particles in the air have been linked to damage of the heart and lungs if inhaled. Older adults, younger children, and people with congestive heart failure, COPD, coronary artery disease, and asthma are all more likely to experience the ill effects of inhaling smaller particles. Read on to learn about particulate matter and how to minimize your exposure in Chicago, IL.

Health Issues Related to Indoor Inhalable Particles

Researchers have found that the size of a particle is related to its potential to cause health problems. Smaller particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and eventually invade the bloodstream. Studies suggest a link between PM exposure and health conditions such as these:

  • Irritated nasal passages, sore throat, and burning eyes
  • Heightened coronary and respiratory disease symptoms
  • Premature death in people with heart or lung disease

Sources of Indoor Particulate Matter

Indoor PM includes particles from outside that travel indoors. It can be generated by smoking, unvented appliances, burning candles, cooking, and wood-burning fireplaces and stoves. The particles can be organic or inorganic in nature. Indoor PM levels are also affected by your home’s ventilation and air filtration systems.

Minimizing Sources of Indoor PM

  • Use exhaust fans when cooking
  • Keep the air filters in your heating and cooling equipment clean and clog-free
  • Don’t use unvented space heaters, fireplaces, or stoves
  • Ensure that woodstoves are properly sized and EPA-certified
  • Use proper wood in stoves and fireplaces
  • Schedule an annual heating inspection and fix leaks promptly

At Besco Air Inc., we design indoor air quality solutions tailored to the needs of Chicago homeowners. Visit us online to learn more.

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