Concept

Particulates

Summary
Particulates or atmospheric particulate matter (see below for other names) are microscopic particles of solid or liquid matter suspended in the air. The term aerosol commonly refers to the particulate/air mixture, as opposed to the particulate matter alone. Sources of particulate matter can be natural or anthropogenic. They have impacts on climate and precipitation that adversely affect human health, in ways additional to direct inhalation. Types of atmospheric particles include suspended particulate matter; thoracic and respirable particles; inhalable coarse particles, designated PM10, which are coarse particles with a diameter of 10 micrometers (μm) or less; fine particles, designated PM2.5, with a diameter of 2.5 μm or less; ultrafine particles, with a diameter of 100 nm or less; and soot. The IARC and WHO designate airborne particulates as a Group 1 carcinogen. Particulates are the most harmful form (other than ultra-fines) of air pollution due to
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