[Skip to Navigation]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
August 2005

PM 2.5—A Killer in Our Midst

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005;159(8):786. doi:10.1001/archpedi.159.8.786

Last December, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disclosed a list of counties across the nation that have had persistently unsafe levels of a specific kind of air pollution known as PM 2.5. PM 2.5 refers to air particles, made from a hodgepodge of metals, organic compounds, and other substances produced primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels, that are all less than 2.5 μm (or about one thirtieth the width of a human hair). About 95 million Americans (that’s roughly 1 in 3) breathe air deemed to be consistently higher than the EPA’s PM 2.5 air quality standards.1