Among the constituents of the air pollution cocktail, the particles or PM10 component is considered to be a significant culprit in terms of mediating adverse health effects
PM10 is the name used to describe very small particles less than 10 microns in size. They arise from vehicle emissions, heating plant, chemical reactions in the air with other pollutants and other sources. They have been linked with increased hospital admissions and premature deaths from lung and heart disease.
PM10 is the particulate component of air pollution that can enter the lungs, deposit in the airways and also penetrate to the periphery of the lungs. There is good evidence that asthma symptoms can be worsened by increases in PM10.
Some particulates occur naturally, originating from volcanoes, dust storms, forest and grassland fires, living vegetation, and sea spray. Human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels in vehicles, power plants and various industrial processes also generate significant amounts of particulates.
The EU has established the European emission standards which include limits for particulates in the air.
Many local authorities are actively monitoring and assessing the level of PM10 in their constituencies, with a view to lower the overall level where possible. It is considered the responsibility of industry leaders to contain or reduce their level of emissions. This can only be possible where a long term schedule of monitoring is implemented. From this monitoring it is then possible to introduce targets or KPI’s to achieve for the following review period.
Monitoring and reducing any levels of emissions also helps industries to comply with the requirements of ISO14001.
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