Particulate Matter (PM10  and PM2.5)

Particulate Matter (PM10 and PM2.5) Ambient particulate matter consists of a mixture of particles of varing size and chemical composition. Particles that are less than 10 micrometers in diameter (PM10) can be inhaled. The fraction of particles, which are less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5) can be trapped in the airways and lungs and is believed to cause adverse health effects. Fine particles (PM2.5) also reduce visibility and can contribute to acidification of soils.

PM10 size particles include windblown soil, road dust, and industrial activities. PM2.5 size particles are formed from gases released to the atmosphere by combustion processes such as from motor vehicles, power plants, gas processing plants, compressor stations, household heating, and forest fires. Pollen and bacteria also account for particulate matter.

What Can We Do?

  • Stay indoors during periods of known high ambient PM concentrations
  • Reduce vehicle use and the use of less-efficient vehicles
  • Apply dust suppressants to aid in the control of fugitive dust
  • Use proper dust collection at source
  • Use of modern farming practices

Alberta Guidelines

Guidelines for ambient atmospheric concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 size particles are under consideration by the Alberta and federal governments. A provisional Canada-Wide Standard has been adopted for PM2.5 of 30 µg/m3, 24-hour averaging time, by the year 2010.

Get Involved

As an airshed, educating about air quality is an essential part of what we do. It is important to us as an organization to inform through not only sharing air quality data but also providing tips on how we can all do our part to reduce air pollution and serve as environmental stewards at an individual level.

Learn more