Size Representation of PM

Particulate matter, also known as PM or particle pollution, is a complex mixture of extremely small particles and liquid droplets. PM2.5 references particulate 2.5 micrometers in diameter or smaller and is also referred to as fine particulate matter. These fine particles are often constituents in smoke and haze. They can be directly emitted from sources like forest fires, or they can form when gases emitted from power plants, industries and automobiles react in the air. There are two federal standards for fine particulate matter. Oklahoma is in attainment with both standards.

PM Filter-based Monitoring Equipment

PM2.5 Monitoring Sites

The division monitored PM2.5 at five locations across Oklahoma in 2013, all in highly populated areas and areas of specific concern. The Oklahoma DEQ monitors PM2.5with two methods.

One method is filter-based where air is sampled for 24 hours across a Teflon filter on a predetermined schedule: every day, every three days, or every six days depending on the location. The filters are sent to an independent laboratory for analysis.

The second method samples air continuously 24 hours a day, 7 days per week and reports hourly PM2.5 values. Real-time data can be accessed here.

PM2.5 and Your Health

Small particles less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter pose the greatest problems, because they can get deep into your lungs, and some may even get into your bloodstream. Exposure to such particles can affect both your lungs and your heart. Numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of problems, including:

2013 PM2.5 Data

Though the purpose of the primary air quality standards is to protect public health, particulate matter, especially PM2.5, is believed to play a role in visibility. The emission and transport of particulate matter as it relates to visibility will continue to be topics on the state and national agenda.

2013 PM2.5 Values2013 PM2.5 Values compared to NAAQS

*To attain this standard, the 3-year average of the weighted annual mean PM2.5 concentrations from single or multiple community-oriented monitors must not exceed 15 μg/m3.