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Pollutants: Particulate Matter

Particulate matter is pollution that consists of extremely small or liquid particles suspended in the air. It is a combination of fine solids such as dirt, soil dust, pollens, molds, ashes, and soot. It may come from factory and utility smokestacks, vehicle exhaust, wood burning, mining, construction activity, and agriculture. These fine particles are easily inhaled deeply into the lungs where they can be absorbed into the bloodstream or remain embedded for long periods of time. Health effects include wheezing, coughing, and respiratory irritation and exposure may trigger asthma attacks, It is especially harmful to those with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

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American Lung Association, Upper Midwest Region
490 Concordia Avenue
St. Paul, MN 55103-2441
Phone: 651-227-8014
Fax: 651-227-5459
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