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Particulate Matter

Particulate Matter (PM) is generally defined as dust, smoke, soot, or aerosol particles. They can be described by their origin, size, chemical makeup, and how they were formed.

PM remains suspended in the air until they clump together to form larger particles and settle to earth. PM can also become nuclei to attract water vapor and form rain droplets.

The finer suspended PM pose a hazard to human health, since once breathed into the lungs, most are trapped and remain there to cause a number of respiratory problems.

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader, available as a free download, to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more about PDF, and for a link to the free Acrobat Reader.

Human Exposure and Atmospheric Science Division (HEASD) scientists have produced a number of reports in this field of PM. Below are links to some recent studies that are available for downloading.

A Population Exposure Model for Particulate Matter – Burke et al (PDF, 56 pp., 960 KB)

Specific Health Effects in Healthy Highway Patrol Officers – Williams et al (PDF, poster, 1 pp., 36 x 21, 1.4 MB)

Assessing Exposures of High Risk Subpopulations – Williams et al(PDF, 72 pp., 1.9 MB)

Dev. & Eval. of a Continuous Coarse Particle Monitor – Solomon et al (PDF, 38 pp., 692 KB)

Guidelines for the Application of SEM/EDX Analytical Techniques to Particulate Matter Samples (PDF, 112 pp, 11.3 MB)

Older Reports

Individual Particle Analysis of Indoor, Outdoor and Community Samples
from the 1998 Baltimore Particulate Matter Study – Conner et al
( PDF, 21 pp., 896 KB)

Related Links

EPA PM Supersites Program


Human Exposure and Atmospheric Sciences

Research & Development | National Exposure Research Laboratory

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