Don’t panic, but fine particulate pollution and fine particulate matter (PM2.5) are blamed for some 100,000+ deaths annually and hundreds of billions in damages.

Selenium and cadmium compounds, benzene, formaldehyde and a host of other unpronounceable chemicals–you’re likely inhaling these toxic chemicals daily wherever you live. While this news is anxiety-inducing, we’re sharing some of the most helpful ways you can protect yourself and avoid fine particulate matter (PM2.5) related health problems down the line.

How does this happen?

So small that they can only be seen by an electron microscope, fine particulates floating in the air are emitted from a variety of sources—not just industrial ones. The particulates are an especially insidious threat because of their near invisibility. Because these fine particles can penetrate your lungs and enter your bloodstream, you may not even be aware of what’s entering your body. And the resulting health conditions can be among the most costly and overwhelming.

Dire effects include respiratory infections and cancer, cardiovascular diseases, birth defects, and even premature death.

Unfortunately, particulate air pollution is an increasingly pervasive and challenging problem for many businesses and communities across the world. PM2.5 exposure occurs from a variety of silent and malignant sources ranging from obvious culprits like energy emissions, transportation, and electricity operations to the lesser-known like agricultural operations.

When and where is air quality the worst?

Vulnerable to both indoor and outdoor particulate pollution, many are actively seeking a clear way to know what air conditions are like in real-time.

Two common forms of pollution, particulate pollution, and ozone levels can worsen due to wildfires or seasonal upticks in local construction and manufacturing. Logically, the increase of pollutants brings with it greater health risks.

During the summer, ozone levels consistently increase. This increase is a result of sunlight coming into contact with pollutants from emissions. During long summer days, there is an increase in sunlight and its interaction with pollutants, leading to increased and dangerous ozone pollution levels.

How do I reduce my exposure to air pollution?

Our suggestion? Get informed. See what the PM2.5 emissions are like in your area. You can also get a real-time map here and another from the EPA here.

Unless you plan to move to the top of Mount Everest, consider investing in a Particulate or Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Gas Sensor. These wireless sensors are particularly useful in industrial environments where protecting workers’ safety—while keeping your operations in compliance with regulations—is a full-time job.

Even if you’re outside of a major industrial zone or city, it never hurts to know what’s happening to protect your health.

Here are some other options to consider starting:

Check Daily Conditions

Get in the habit of using a daily tracking system to know the conditions in the areas you’ll be in. This way, you can decide what steps will be best to take for your health as you go about your day. Outside the United States? Check out this international list to get global conditions.

Be an Early Bird or a Gym Rat

Consider going out in the early morning, when the ozone level is lowest, to decrease your overall exposure to caustic particulate matter. Remember: the more the particulates interact with the sun, the greater the threat to your health.

Unless you’re a true early bird, 4 am is probably too early to step out—consider hitting an indoor gym that uses a proper filtration system.

Get a Proper Air Filter

Outdoor pollution can easily reach the inside of nearly any building you’re in. To significantly decrease the amount of pollution, use a High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) to filter out any remaining particulate matter.

Wear a Filtration Mask

If you must spend a considerable amount of time outside, a proper filtration mask can make a difference. Using a P95-rated mask can help protect against airborne particulates that can damage your lungs and cardiovascular system.

Know more and worry less about the interior air quality of your work site. Reach out, and we’ll tailor a monitoring solution to you. We’ve supported a variety of clients seeking fast, efficient, and full-cycle solutions to monitor the ambient conditions of their environments.