FILTRACHECK - We take a look.
How harmful is fine dust for your health?
Fine dust is also often referred to as PM10. PM stands for ‘particulate matter’ and means suspended matter. The 10 stands for the maximum diameter of the dust particles – namely, 10 micrometers (10 µm). A human hair is roughly ten times as thick. Particles of this size or smaller cannot be held back in the upper airways and do enter the lungs.
After PM10, there are even finer classifications such as PM2.5 (fine particulate matter) and PM0.1 (ultrafine particulate matter). Particles PM2.5 or smaller are also called respirable particulate matter. That means these particles can reach even the smallest bronchioles and pulmonary alveoli. The PM0.1 (ultrafine particles) even penetrate the lung tissue and blood to enter the entire body, and even reach the brain.
Because of the various sources, particulate matter consists of many different chemical compounds. Tiny, carcinogenic soot particles are particularly toxic. In the area around the source such as a diesel engine without a particle filter, they have a diameter of a maximum of one ten-thousandth of a millimeter (PM0.1). These especially fine dust particles are very jagged indeed. For that reason, other toxic substances can attach themselves to them very easily.