Who is Most at Risk?
People with heart or lung disease:
Conditions make them vulnerable
Greater prevalence of heart and lung disease
More likely to be active
Breathe more air per pound
Bodies still developing
Particle pollution contains microscopic solids or liquid droplets that are so small that they can get deep into the lungs and cause serious health problems. A number of scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of problems.
Health Consequences of Exposure
Exposure to fine particles is linked to:
- Increased respiratory symptoms, such as irritation of the airways, coughing, or difficulty breathing
- Aggravated asthma
- Development of chronic bronchitis
- Irregular heartbeat
- Non-fatal heart attacks
- Aggravation of heart and lung diseases
- Premature death in people with heart or lung disease
- Possibly linked to lung cancer deaths, infant mortality and developmental problems such as low birth weight in children.
How Do Fine Particles Interact with the Body?
- Small particles less than 10 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems because the nose and throat filter larger particles penetrating deep into lungs.
- Particles can accumulate, react, absorb, or be cleared by the lungs
- Particles can enter the bloodstream
Mat-Su Area Map