PM10: Understanding the impact of particulate matter

PM10 or particulate matter 10 refers to microscopic particles that measure 10 microns and under that float around the air that can cause adverse health effects if inhaled.

Understanding PM10

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As we have previously discussed the concept of particulate matter and PM2.5, PM10’s smaller counterpart, this blog post will explore and discuss key aspects of PM10, its composition, sources, impact on human health as well as strategies to mitigate.

PM10 is an important aspect of air pollution, and understanding it is crucial to address its effects and protect our well-being.

Whether you’re familiar with the topic or looking to expand your knowledge, this guide will provide you with valuable insight into the pollutant and their significance on indoor air quality and how it will affect the health of the loved ones around you.

What is PM10?

PM10 is an abbreviation for particulate matter 10, with 10 being the size of the particulate matter in microns, meaning that it is any particle floating in the air that measures 10 microns in diameter. Although they can be up to four times bigger than PM2.5, PM10 is still invisible to the naked eye and can come from a host of different sources which will be discussed later on.

These particles are made of a mixture of solid and liquid substances, including dust, pollen, smoke and other organic or inorganic particles.

Where does PM10 come from?

PM10 comes from a wide range of sources that are both manmade and natural. Understanding these sources is essential to be able to mitigate the spread of the particles and the effects they would have on one’s health.

Some of the key contributors to PM10 levels come from the following sources

  1. Dust and soil erosion: Natural processes such as wind erosion and geological activity can inadvertently generate dust particles that lead to PM10 pollution. Soil erosion can also occur from agricultural practices or residences in close proximity to unpaved roads.
  2. Combustion: Combustion releases various PM10 particles into the air. This can include the burning of fossil fuels, residential heating, or even smoking indoors.
  3. Construction: The process of construction and also demolition generates large amounts of dust and debris that will lead to higher concentrations of PM10 in the ambient air.
  4. Residential sources: Everyday activities, including cooking or heating with solid fuels or burning wood, emits PM10 particles. Certain cleaning products that contain volatile organic compounds can also lead to the spread of PM10 particles.
  5. Agricultural practices: Farming activities like ploughing, harvesting or crop residue burning lead to a significant release of PM10 particles which pollute the air. The application of fertilisers and pesticides also leads to this.

From here, we can see that a lot of the sources of PM10 are similar to that of PM2.5, which means that all these activities and more can potentially create added pollution to your indoor environment that, if gone unchecked, could lead to long-term health effects.

Monitoring PM10 levels

Monitoring PM10 and indoor air pollution levels is crucial for assessing indoor air quality to help make sure that your living space is conducive to better health. Selected Ionmax air purifiers like the Ionmax+ AIRE and the Ionmax Breeze Plus take this indoor air safety a step further by incorporating indoor air quality monitors, making monitoring a breeze.

Ionmax air purifiers can act as personal monitoring stations to constantly measure the quality of the air in your living space, utilising the SmartSens indoor air quality monitoring system and adjusting the unit’s fan speed to clean the air depending on the pollution level.

Selected units also come with a mobile pairing that allows you to monitor pollution levels remotely and make changes where necessary. With reliable data at your fingertips, creating a cleaner and healthier space for yourself and your loved ones is made easier than ever before.

Health effects of PM10

Long-term exposure to these particles can lead to significant adverse health effects as like PM2.5, these particles have the potential to penetrate our respiratory system. Some potential health hazards associated with PM10 exposure include

  1. Respiratory issues: Inhalation of PM10 particles will irritate the respiratory system and lead to symptoms like coughing and shortness of breath while also worsening any existing respiratory issues like asthma and bronchitis. Extended exposure can also cause reduced lung function.
  2. Cardiovascular problems: When PM10 particles are inhaled, they can make their way into the bloodstream and can trigger inflammation which can lead to an increased risk of coronary events.
  3. Allergic reactions: People living with allergies can find that PM10 particles can act as triggers. Those living with asthma can also suffer from asthma attacks as a result of high PM10 concentrations in the air.

Strategies to reduce PM10 pollution

Reducing the concentration of PM10 pollution is of utmost importance in our mission to improve indoor air quality and protect the health of our loved ones. By implementing effective strategies and adopting sustainable practices, we can minimise PM10 levels and create a healthier indoor environment for everyone.

Here are some key strategies to reduce PM10 pollution and improve indoor air quality:
  1. Source control: Identify and address the source of the pollution. It could be the cleaning agents in your home (opt for organic or VOC-free products instead), the fireplace burning, cooking or even smoking.
  2. Proper ventilation: Once the source has been identified, ensure adequate ventilation in indoor spaces to promote air circulation and reduce the concentration of the pollutant. Proper ventilation can be achieved by opening up a window, or door or using mechanical ventilation systems such as kitchen hoods when cooking.
  3. Air filtration/purification: Ionmax air purifiers utilise multi-stage filtration systems that effectively trap and remove indoor air pollutants. Most importantly, Ionmax air purifiers utilise HEPA filters to remove particulate matter from ambient air.
  4. Waste management: Implementing proper waste management practices will prevent the release of PM10 from household trash. Pair this with regular cleaning by wiping down surfaces and regular vacuuming to minimise the accumulation of dust in the air.
  5. Awareness: Educating inhabitants on simple measures they can take, such as the above, will allow for everyone to do their part for better indoor air quality and improved overall health.


By understanding the sources of PM10 pollution in our everyday lives that include cooking, open burning, smoking, everyday household cleaning agents, agricultural activities, erosion and more, we can implement the right strategies to mitigate its dangerous health effects.

Taking preventive measures such as regular cleaning, employing an air purifier and responsible waste management can help mitigate its dangerous effects. These effects include respiratory issues, cardiovascular diseases and the worsening of existing diseases.

Browse through Ionmax’s wide range of air treatment devices to find the right device for your home whether it be air purifiers, dehumidifiers, humidifiers or heaters!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general reference only. Please seek advice from professionals according to your needs.

Ionmax Australia

Ionmax Australia

Founded in 2003, Ionmax Australia has received numerous awards and accolades for its innovative products and commitment to customer satisfaction. Ionmax dehumidifiers and air purifiers have been recognised for their effectiveness in reducing indoor air pollutants and improving air quality. The company is committed to researching and developing new and improved products that meet the needs and expectations of its customers, making it a trusted name in households across Australia and beyond.

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