An introduction to particulate matter issues

01 Apr 1997

Particulate matter (PM) refers to discrete particles in ambient air that exist either as solid particles or liquid droplets. The sources of PM are:

  • natural, e.g. pollen;
  • a combination of natural and man-made in variable proportions, e.g. dust in a park, roadside dust, smoke from vegetation and wood burning; and
  • wholly man-made, either: – naturally, e.g. household dust from skin shedding; or – activity-related, e.g. smoking, cooking and barbecuing, vehicle use, industrial activities, etc.