Pollution is the world’s largest environmental cause of disease and premature death. Air Pollution costs the world more than USD 5 trillion/year in Social Welfare and 6.5 million lives are lost each year due to air pollution by burning fossil fuels.
High Particulate Matter (PM 2.5) is an air pollutant that is a high concern for people´s health. PM 2.5 are tiny particles (1/30 of a human hair) in the air that reduce visibility and the air appears hazy when levels are elevated. Long term exposure to high PM2.5 poses a risk to the environment and overall health of the population. The PM 2.5 particles can travel deep into the respiratory tract and into the lungs and cause both short- and long-term problems for people that make them more vulnerable to face viruses that attack the respiratory system.
Where does PM 2.5 come from? The highest levels can be found in cities with high traffic, cars, transportation vehicles, etc., but also from the burning of fuels such as wood, heating oil, coal, and natural sources such as forest and grass fires. Today it is believed that 50% of the energy consumed by cities is due to heating and cooling of cities and most of them still burn air-polluting fossil fuels to meet the energy demand.