March 6, 2023

An Overview of Particulate Matter

Particulate matter

Airborne particulate matter, or abbreviated as PM, is a complex mixture of aerosol and solid chemicals both in the form of small droplets and solid fragments. When inhaled over an extended period of time, PM has been linked to various illnesses and can even result in death. While long-term exposure of harmful particulate matter poses these dangerous health risks, short-term exposer can also lead to deadly consequences. Some of these particulates may be large enough to see, although a majority of particulates can’t be seen by the human eye. With this in mind, let’s explore the science of particulate matter and how you can best protect yourself and loved ones from this invisible threat.

Particulate Matter: The Science

Researchers record particulate matter using PM10 and PM2.5 as size measurements. PM10 refers to particulates smaller than 10 micrometers in diameter, and PM2.5 indicates particulates smaller than 2.5 micrometers in diameter. From here, specific particles are categorized into three groups according to these measurements, which are:

  1. Coarse – Particles measured between 2.5 microns and 10 microns in diameter, these particles are labeled as PM10-2.5.
  2. Fine – Particles measured at 2.5 microns in diameter or smaller, these particles are labeled as PM2.5.
  3. Ultrafine – Particles smaller than 0.1 micron in diameter. These particles are small enough to pass through lung tissue and into the blood stream.

Particle pollution can be emitted into the air from a variety of sources, such as factories, cars, construction sites, power plants, wood stoves, forest fires, and much more. Given the industrial state of our society, it’s clear to understand that nearly everyone is at risk to inhaling dangerous particulate matter. Negative health symptoms associated with the presence of airborne particulates include:

  • Heart disease, severe chest pains, rapid heartbeat, and even heart attacks.
  • Lung and throat issues, including breathing problems and even lung cancer.
  • Eye irritation.
  • Reproductive and developmental harm.

While short-term exposure to particulate matter can still result in negative health symptoms and even death, researchers are more concerned about the dangers of long-term exposure. Research examining the impact of particulates on the nervous system has found links to cognitive affects, which includes reduced brain volume and generally negative cognitive impacts. Additionally, studies have found evidence that particulate pollution can impact pregnancy, such as preterm birth, low birth weight, and infant mortality.

Particulate Matter: The Solution

O2 Nose Filters has been proven in controlled studies to help protect wearers from inhaling harmful airborne particles such as bacteria, viruses, dust, exhaust fumes, and other pollutants. Independent laboratory tests demonstrate that 3M’s Advanced Electret Media in O2 Nose Filters block 90% of particulates at PM10 and 65% of particulates at PM2.5. Additionally, O2 Nose Filters are comfortable to wear due to their latex-free design and medical-grade Thermoplastic Elastomer (TPE) materials.

3M’s patented AEM™ (Advanced Electret Media) filter technology relies on the principles of electrostatic attraction. The high capture ratios and extended breathability attributed to 3M’s AEM™ material allows airborne particles to be captured within the filter. Rather than using a ‘screen’ approach to block the passage of particles, the charged fibers act as ‘magnets’ to retain particles while still allowing air to pass through, making O2 Nose Filters both breathable and effective.

O2 Nose Filters provides inexpensive and effective security to protect people from harmful airborne diseases. While our nasal passageways try their best when it comes to filtering harmful particulate matter, they aren’t perfect. That’s why O2 Nose Filters are such an effective solution when it comes to improving our mental and physical health. Nose filters are a discreet, effective option to protect against airborne viruses and bacteria. The O2 Nose Filter uses 3M’s patented AEM™ electrostatic technology to capture allergens, viruses, and other particulates, making them a valuable tool for anyone who wants to drastically limit the pollutants and pollens they breathe in daily.


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