TOTAL DUST AND FINE DUST PARTICLES (PM10, PM2.5)
Dust is a basic atmospheric air pollutant. Its harmful health effect mainly depends on the dimensions and the chemical composition of the suspended dust particles, on the other chemical compounds, adsorbed on their surface, including mutagenes, RNA-modulators, etc., as well as on the section of the respiratory system, in which they are deposited.
Basic dust sources are industry, transport and power engineering.
The dust penetrates the human body mainly through the respiratory system, and the larger particles are retained in the upper part of the respiratory tract, whereas the smaller ones (below 10 mm - FDP10) reach the lower sections of the respiratory system and cause lung tissue damages. Children, elderly people and people suffering from chronic lung diseases, flu or asthma are particularly sensitive to high FDP10 values.
The harmful effect of dust pollution is more strongly expressed in the case of parallel availability of sulfur dioxide in the atmospheric air. Their synergetic effect on the respiratory organs and exposed mucous membranes is proven. It is expressed in the irritating effect and depends on the duration of the exposure. Short-term exposure to 500 mg/m3 dust and sulfur dioxide increases general mortality of the population, and at half lower concentrations increase of morbidity is witnessed and lung function disorders. Long lasting exposure to sulfur dioxide and dust results in higher rate of non-specific lung diseases, mainly respiratory infections of the upper respiratory tract and bronchitis - at considerably lower concentrations (30 - 150 µg/m3), which is particularly strongly expressed with children. Chronic patients, suffering from bronchial asthma and cardiovascular diseases are the most vulnerable to the combined effect of dust and sulfur dioxide.
The limit values for fine dust particles are set by Regulation No. 9 (State Gazette No. 46/1999, amended and supplemented, SG No. 86/2005). The purpose of the introduced limit values (LV) is prevention from the harmful effect on human health and on the environment.
The following fine dust particles LVs are set:
- annual average LV for PM10 (for one calendar year) - 40 µg/m3;
- annual average LV for PM2.5 (for one calendar year) - 20 µg/m3;
The following total suspended dust LVs are set:
- 24 hour average LV (for 24-hours) - 0,25 mg/m3;
- annual average LV (for one calendar year) - 0,15 mg/m3.