Jill U. Adams, The Washington Post Published 11:50 am PDT, Saturday, April 27, 2019 When spring arrives, it’s a joy to open your windows and feel the fresh air. All too soon it will be summer and we’ll shut ourselves in again. This ritual raises a question: Which is healthier – outdoor air or indoor air? They’re related, of course. The air inside our homes originates from outside and can carry pollen or pollutants, such as those produced by combustion engines. Indoor sources might add to the mix with tobacco smoke, cooking, mold spores, dust and pet dander. A tightly sealed home may allow this mix of particulate matter to become more concentrated inside than out. For good health outcomes, “The key is to catch small particles,” says Stuart Batterman, an environmental health scientist at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. Particles that are 2.5 millimeters or smaller – called fine particles, particulate matter 2.5 or PM2.5 – are small enough to travel deep into the lungs and sometimes cross into the bloodstream. Fine particles are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency because they can cause health problems. High particulate matter may be associated with serious outcomes, such as… Read full this story
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