Particulate matter (PM) is a serious threat to human health. Short-term exposure to high levels of this pollutant is just as dangerous as long-term exposure to high or low levels. There are no safe levels of exposure because PM exposure health effects are cumulative. How so? PM health risks associated with dune dust are primarily from inhaling airborne particles that are 10 micrometers or smaller. These very small particles are trapped in the lung. Particles that are not dissolved are absorbed into the lining of the lung. This causes scar tissue that over time can accumulate enough to impair lung function. The smallest particles can pass through the lungs into the blood stream, affecting organs. Exposure to PM pollution has been shown to increase incidents of lung impairment, heart disease and cancer in exposed populations, and to aggravate existing lung health problems. Learn more about PM related health issues from the information sources listed in the table below.
Subject: Health impacts related to elevated levels of particulate matter (PM) in the Nipomo/Oceano Dunes area.
San Luis Obispo County Health Commission
Excerpts from website regarding particulate matter and Health.
Center for Disease Control
American Lung Association web page on particle pollution. Includes a video explaining the way particles damage lungs.
American Lung Association
Fine particles of pollution that linger in the air can increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest.
HealthDay News
Time magazine article on Dr. Hazrije Mustafic study findings showing high levels of particulates elevates risk of heart attack and stroke.
NBC News
The ambient air quality standards (AAQS) for particulate matter (PM) that can be present in outdoor air without threatening public health.
California Air Resources Board
What Is Particle Pollution? Who Is at Risk? What Can Particles Do to Your Health? Short-Term Exposure Can Be Deadly? Year-Round Exposure Can Kill and May Cause Cancer. EPA Concludes Fine Particle Pollution Poses Serious Health Threats. Where Does Particle Pollution Come From? Are Some Particles More Dangerous than Others?
American Lung Association
Summary of PM health effects and explanation of the EPA Air Quality Index (AQI)
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Study report showing both short- and long-term exposures to fine particulate matter (≤ 2.5 μm; PM2.5) are associated with mortality.
Environmental Health Perspectives
Reports on a study that is the first large epidemiological analysis to examine the possible impact of PM2.5 exposure on the development of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and end- stage renal disease (ESRD).
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN)
Bonnie Holmes-Gen Senior Director, Air Quality and Climate Change American Lung Association
Subject: Oceano Dunes: Lung Health Impacts of Particle Pollution

Mesa Air Facts!

Concerned Citizens for Clean Air