Particulate Matter Health Impacts
There are anecdotal and some peer reviewed studies suggesting more respiratory problems in Alaska 's villages than expected. The causes for this are varied and hard to pinpoint. On the other hand, Alaska is committed to reducing pollutant levels when possible. The opportunity to reduce particulate matter levels is now upon us.
Coarse and fine particulate cause health problems when people are exposed to harmful concentrations. Fine particulate (PM2.5) is associated with more severe health consequences than coarse particulate (PM10). In addition, particulate matter is a nuisance, especially dust. Particulates can settle on furniture, a coffee cup, or subsistence foods, making food inedible, and damaging electronics. Controlling particulate matter will benefit our health and enhance our quality of life.
The links below further detail particulate matter and its affect on human health:
EPA Particulate Matter, Health and the Environment: https://www.epa.gov/pm-pollution/health-and-environmental-effects-particulate-matter-pm
EPA brochure - Particle Pollution and Your Health: https://nepis.epa.gov/Exe/ZyPDF.cgi?Dockey=P1001EX6.txt
EPA - How Smoke from Fires can Affect Your Health: http://www.airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=smoke.index
State of Alaska Epidemiology Bulletin: Association between Air Quality and Hospital Visits--Fairbanks, 2003 - 2008