© VIKTOR DRACHEV/AFP/Getty Images
PM2.5 is what used to be called fine soot, tiny particles less than 2.5 micrometers or less in diameter, about 1/30th the width of a human hair. According to the EPA (for now, anyway), they are small enough that they get stuck in the lungs. A recent article in the Guardian says they can even penetrate the lungs and get into major organs, including the brain and testicles. They cause serious problems for people with heart or lung diseases, children, and older adults.
Now a new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives shows that they actually cause 31,000 deaths per year in America; 21,000 from burning what the President calls “clean, beautiful coal” and 10,000 from household heating with oil, natural gas and wood. The study also plots which states have the most deaths.
© Total premature deaths associated with source-state EGU emissions…
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