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Home >  Blog >  Why Particle Pollution Levels Matter in Road Maintenance

Why Particle Pollution Levels Matter in Road Maintenance

Posted on 2 December 2017
Why Particle Pollution Levels Matter in Road Maintenance

If the road maintenance service you've hired thinks 'PM' indicates the time of day, you should reconsider your options.

Particle pollution, or particulate matter (PM), awareness should be a priority for any street sweeping or road cleaning service that's conscious of people's health, and the environment.

What is Particulate Matter?

Particulate matter is comprised of a mixture of solid and liquid droplets floating in the air. These are created naturally through traditional road sweeping, power washing, and other road maintenance services, as well as chemical reactions in the atmosphere.

PM can range in sizes depending on the substance, with anything under 10 micrometers in diameter being a serious health risk when they enter the lungs.

There are two types typically created through road cleaning:

  • Coarse dust particles (PM10) are between 2.5 to 10 micrometers in diameter. Created from crushing /grinding operations; dust stirred up by sweepers, trucks, etc.
     
  • Fine particles (PM2.5) - are 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller, and are invisible to the human eye. Fine particles are made from all types of combustion motor vehicles, power plants, residential wood burning, forest fires, agricultural burning, etc.

Why PM2.5 & PM10 are Dangerous to People

The lighter, finer particles, PM2.5 and PM10, stay in the air longer, making it more likely for humans to inhale them. PM2.5 are less than a hair thin, meaning they easily travel through the respiratory system, and into the lungs.

These particles have been linked to heart and lung disease. They're also known to trigger chronic diseases such as asthma, heart attack, bronchitis, and other respiratory problems.

A study conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association found long- term exposure to PM2.5 led to plaque deposits in arteries, a hardening of the arteries, and eventually heart attack and stroke.

Why PM2.5 & PM10 are Dangerous to the Environment

PM's effects on the environment are similarly devastating, including:

Visibility Impairment: PM creates haze, limiting visibility in treasured areas of greenery and parks.

Environmental Damage: This includes making lakes and streams acidic, changing the nutrient balance in coastal waters and large river basins, depleting the nutrients in soil, damaging sensitive forests and farm crops, affecting the diversity of ecosystems, etc.

Materials Damage: In city settings, PM can stain and damage stone and other building materials. Along with building structures, culturally significant city statues and monuments can be eroded away, too.

A PM-Compliant Road Maintenance Service

When you're hiring a street sweeping, street cleaning, or road maintenance service, be sure to ask if their equipment is PM-2.5 and PM-10 compliant.

You'll keep yourself safe from the potential dangers of PM, as well as the community and the environment.

Preserving air quality and minimizing the spread of dust particles is of equal importance to keeping streets clean.

A&G The Road Cleaners' entire fleet of road maintenance trucks is PM-2.5 and PM-10 compliant, making us the cleanest & safest service in the industry.

For more information about our street cleaning & road maintenance services, contact us today!

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