The dirt on PM (particulate matter)

Per the Environmental Protection Agency:

PM = Particulate Matter, a mixture of solid particles and liquid droplets found in the air. Some particles, such as dust, dirt, soot, or smoke, are large or dark enough to be seen with the naked eye. Others are so small they can only be detected using an electron microscope.*

PM10 : inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 10 micrometers and smaller

PM2.5 : fine inhalable particles, with diameters that are generally 2.5 micrometers and smaller.

Air Quality Index (AQI) Level of Health Concern Color

0 to 50


51 to 100


101 to 150

Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups

151 to 200


201 to 300

Very Unhealthy

301 to 500


Understanding Air Quality

Understanding the Air Quality Index (AQI) is a critical first step to learning about the quality of the air in your environment and knowing when your health is at risk.

The AQI is measured on a scale of 0 (good air quality) to 500 (hazardous air quality), using major pollutants, including PM (particulate matter), ozone, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.

Our AVA Breathe device and app uses this 0-500 AQI scale to keep track of the AQI in your environment and keep you updated if the air quality reaches levels that are hazardous to your health.

Check out the EPA’s website for details: Air Quality Index (AQI) Basics

Air Pollution is a growing global concern

According to the World Health Organization:

  • Nine out of 10 people around the world breathe air containing high levels of pollutants
  • Outdoor air pollution caused some 4.2 million deaths in 2016
  • Air pollution levels remain dangerously high in many parts of the world
  • Worldwide ambient air pollution accounts for:

• 29% of all deaths and disease from lung cancer

• 43% of all deaths and disease from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

  • Particulate Matter (PM) with a diameter of less than 10 microns (PM10), pose the greatest risks to health, as they are capable of penetrating peoples’ lungs and entering their bloodstream