PM10 Suspended Particulate Matter

All you need to know about PM10 Suspended Particulate Matter.


Particulate matter does not refer to a single air pollutant but to a complex mixture of solids and aerosols of different shape, size and chemical composition. They are made up of various chemical species like organic compounds, inorganic ions, metallic compounds and elementary carbon. They are either directly emitted from a source or they can be formed through the chemical reactions of other air pollutants – for example NOx, SOx, VOC’s in the atmosphere. Particulate matter is classified by diameter for air quality regulatory purposes. The impact of particulate matter exposure on human health directly depends on the size of the particles,. Particles with a diameter of 10 um or less are known as PM10. Examples include construction dust, pollen and mold. Sources of PM10 can include wind-blown dust, pollen, spores, mold dirt, soil erosion, forest fires, burning fossil fuels, dust emission from dirt roads, crushing and grinding or other such construction activities, vehicle emissions, wear and tear of tires, power supply, industrial combustion and metal production.


When they are released, they can stay in the air for minutes or hours before settling. PM10 particles are small enough to pass through the nose and throat and get into the lungs. They tend to deposit on the surface of the airways in the upper respiratory tract. This causes irritation to the eyes, nose and the throat. This irritation aggravates already present respiratory problems such as asthma.

Prolonged exposure affects respiratory mortality. High levels of PM10 causes visible air pollution. Settling of PM10 can adversely impact various ecosystems. The metal and organic compounds cause a reduction in plant growth while the deposition of PM10 into lakes and dams affects water quality and clarity.


PM10 monitoring is an very efficient way to detect high concentrations of particulate matter as well as preventing high-level exposure. A few principles for monitoring particulate matter of all sizes in the ambient environment are:
Gravimetric, Tapered Element Oscillating Microbalance (TOEM), Beta Attenuation and Laser scattering.



Info sourced from OIZOM Academy












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