Indicator Profile of Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) in Outdoor Air

Why Is This Important?

Particulate matter (PM) is a mixture of solid particles such as dust, ash, smoke and droplets in the air. PM can be emitted directly from a source (e.g., smoke stacks, tail pipes or construction sites) or can form in the atmosphere from chemicals emitted by power plants, industries and cars.

Fine particles -- 2.5 microns in diameter or less (PM2.5) -- are of greatest health concern since they can be breathed deep into the respiratory tract. Exposure to these particles can lead to asthma attacks, coughing, shortness of breath, bronchitis, lung cancer, and premature death.

Fine Particulate Matter in Outdoor Air, Percent of Days Exceeding PM2.5 Standard, 2001 Through 2010

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Data Notes

No modeled air quality data are available beyond 2006. Exceedances for counties with 2007-2010 data are based upon monitored results.

Data Sources

Bureau of Air Monitoring, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection; 

Other Graphical Views


Percent of days (and number of person-days) in which the average concentration of fine particulate matter exceeds the regulatory standard at a monitoring point. Fine particulate matter is defined as particles that are 2.5 microns in diameter or less (PM2.5).

How We Calculated the Rates

Numerator: Number of days in a year in which the PM2.5 concentration at a monitor exceeded the National Ambient Air Quality Standard of 35 micrograms per cubic meter, averaged over 24 hours; or number of person-days, which is the product of the percent of days with a PM2.5 exceedance, times the population of the geographic area (county) represented by a monitor or model result, times 365 days.
Denominator: For percent of days: number of days in a year

Page Content Updated On 09/14/12, Published on 09/26/12
Environmental Public Health Tracking Project, New Jersey Department of Health, PO Box 369, Trenton, NJ 08625-0369, Phone: 609-826-4984, e-mail: nj.epht@doh.state.nj.us, Web: www.nj.gov/health/epht
The information provided above is from the New Jersey Department of Health's NJSHAD Web site (http://nj.gov/health/shad). The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Tue, 27 January 2015 3:18:58 from New Jersey Department of Health, Center for Health Statistics, State Health Assessment Data Web site: http://nj.gov/health/shad".

Content updated: Sat, 20 Sep 2014 04:00:46 EDT