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
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
How We Calculated the Rates
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.
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: email@example.com,
Department of Health
P. O. Box 360, Trenton, NJ 08625-0360
Phone: (609) 292-7837
Toll-free in NJ: 1-800-367-6543 Our Locations
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