The Air Quality Index (AQI) identifies air quality as it relates to health effects you may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air. Ground-level ozone and airborne particles (PM2.5 and PM10) pose the greatest threat to human health.
Particle pollution, also known as ‘particulate matter’, is a mixture of microscopic solids and liquid droplets suspended in air. The size of particles is directly linked to their potential for causing health problems. Fine particles (known as PM2.5) pose the greatest problems because they can get deep into your lungs and some may even get into your bloodstream. Particles less than 10 micrometers (PM10), include both fine and coarse dust particles that can pass through the nose and throat and get into your lungs.
Ozone near ground level forms when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants, and other sources react chemically in the presence of sunlight. Ground-level ozone is a harmful air pollutant.
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