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Pollutants

Particulate Matter less than 2.5 microns (PM2.5) - 24 Hour Standard

National Ambient Air Quality Standard – 35 µg/m3 – Based on a 3-year average of annual 98th percentile values.

Particle pollution (also known as "particulate matter") in the air includes a mixture of solids and liquid droplets. Some particles are emitted directly; others are formed in the atmosphere when other pollutants react. Particles come in a wide range of sizes.  Particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter are called "fine" particles. These particles are so small they can be detected only with an electron microscope. Sources of fine particles include all types of combustion, including motor vehicles, power plants, residential wood burning, forest fires, agricultural burning, and some industrial processes.

Air Quality Index (AQI): Particle Pollution

Index Values

Levels of Health Concern

Cautionary Statements

0-50

Good

None

51-100*

Moderate

Unusually sensitive people should consider reducing prolonged or heavy exertion.

101-150

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.

151-200

Unhealthy

People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion. Everyone else should reduce prolonged or heavy exertion.

201-300

Very Unhealthy

People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid all physical activity outdoors. Everyone else should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.

301-500

Hazardous

People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should remain indoors and keep activity levels low. Everyone else should avoid all physical activity outdoors.

*An AQI of 100 for particles up to 2.5 micrometers in diameter corresponds to a level of 35 micrograms per cubic meter (averaged over 24 hours).