You breathe in particles because they are everywhere. Some particles don’t come out of your lungs. That’s why they are important.
Airborne particles matter for air quality; both outside and inside. Some particles are so small that your lungs can’t breathe them out or expel them. These super small particles are referred to as non-respirable particles. These small particles are of the most concern for health.
These can be organic like mold, bacteria, and viruses; or inorganics like ozone, smoke, and air pollution.
Particles are separated into repairable and non-respirable groups. Non-repairable means it’s so small it gets stuck in your lungs. The chemical composition of particles also determines the effect they have on your health.
There are a lot of people flooding the market with particle sensing devices that only test for “course” (over 2.5 µg/m3) particles. Those sensors are significantly cheaper than the “fine” (under 2.5 µg/m3) particle sensors. We have tested a lot of different, low-cost sensors and most don’t work. We can’t recommend any of the current ones on the market.
We do recommend Purple Air and search for American Air Testing to see what our outside air quality is like.
During wildfires this app is very helpful EPA Smoke Sense Study.
There is an AI prediction of indoor air by street address here: Breezometer.
How to Lower the Particles You are Breathing
The best way to do that is with a true-HEPA only air purifier. You may be able to add a true-HEPA filter to your heating or HVAC system. Portable true-HEPAs work very well, also. You may want to consider adding a charcoal filter to the HEPA. The charcoal or carbon will trap vapors (gasoline, smoke, etc.)
Please don’t add any UV, ultrastatic, ion generator, or other. A true-HEPA with charcoal will not add anything to your indoor air – it will only remove particles.
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