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Particulate matter

Tiny particles. Major health risk.

A global health threat

Particulate matter shortens life expectancy

Particulate matter in road traffic is a significant health risk. Every year, more than 3.3 million people worldwide die as a consequence of particulate air pollution. In China alone, around 1.4 million people die every year as a result of particulate air pollution. In Europe, the figure is approximately 180,000. In many countries, this means that ten times more people die as a result of pollution than in traffic accidents.

According to a study by the Max Planck Institute, these figures could even double if emissions continue to rise at current levels. At present, there are no sustainable solutions for dealing with high concentrations of particulate matter caused by industry, transport, agriculture, coal, oil and gas power plants, as well as domestic fires. As a result, particulate matter currently shortens life expectancy in Beijing by around 22 months, in Mexico City about 10, in Frankfurt around 8.6 and in New York City about 6 months.

Deaths
due to effects of high air pollution


(yearly)Worldwide3.3 MillionChina1.4 MillionIndia0.65 MillionEU0.18 Million

Shorter life expectancy
due to air pollution


months-22Beijing-10Mexico City-7ParisLos AngelesFrankfurt-8Naples-11

Particulate matter in the respiratory tract

Particulate matter is absorbed into human lungs. The smaller the particles are, the deeper they penetrate. Fine particles smaller than 2.5 microns (PM 2.5) can reach as far as the central region of the lungs and accumulate there. Hazardous substances such as heavy metals or carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons can adhere to the surface of these particles. If particles and pollutants penetrate the lung, the consequences can be devastating, ranging from respiratory problems, allergy symptoms and asthma to heart attacks and lung cancer.

Particles
in the respiratory tract



Size comparison
of particles


Illustration of PM1, PM2,5 und PM10 particle size


micronAir blue: Maximum protection against particulate matter

micronAir blue separates up to 100 percent of fine particles from the air and thus makes a major contribution to minimizing health risks. Compared to other cabin air filters, micronAir blue offers higher filtration efficiency over a long period of use. This is achieved through a sophisticated filter medium with different sizes of synthetic fibers. Nano and microfibers are used to capture the finest particles while coarse fibers provide ample capacity for retaining the separated dusts. Maximum long-lasting protection can thus be reliably ensured inside the vehicle, even under extreme operating conditions.

Most common causes
of high air pollution

Fossil Power PlantsHouseholdfiresIndustryAgriculture (ammonia- emmission)Traffic


The most common causes of high air pollution worldwide vary according to region. A study of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, showed that small domestic fires cause much of the smog in China and India. In Europe, Russia, Turkey, Japan and the eastern United States the most common reason for bad air quality, however, is the ammonia emission caused by agriculture. Further major global sources are fossil-fuel fired power plants, industry and traffic.

You can find the detailed study results here.