1Center for American Progress | Soot Pollution 101
Soot Pollution 101
What You Need to Know and How You Can Help Prevent It
Jackie Weidman and Susannah Marshall August 10, 2012
Earlier his summer heEnvironmenal Proecion Agency proposed updaed clean-airsandards ha will preven ens o housands o premaure deahs. Te proposal comesin response olegal acioncalling upon he EPA o updae nal regulaions or pariclepolluion. Tis rule is in line wih he Clean Air Ac’s requiremens o proec publichealh and improve air qualiy.Paricle polluion, commonly reerred o as “soo,” is one o he deadlies orms o airpolluion. Tis 101 deails why i is essenial ha he EPA adops he srices rules pos-sible o proec Americans rom he dangers o breahing hese paricles.
What is soot?
Soo is he common erm or a ype o paricle pol-luion called PM 2.5—pariculae mater ha is 2.5micromeers in diameer or smaller. Suchne par-iclesare even smaller han dus and mold paricles,or approximaely 1/30 o he size o a human hair.I is comprised o a variey o polluans, includingchemicals, acids, meals, soils, and dus, which aresuspended in he air aer emission. Soo can comein solid, liquid, or gaseous (“aerosols”) saes.
How is soot produced?
Soo is a byproduc o burning ossil uels, paricularly coal. I is emited by a variey o sources, including burning coal or elecriciy or indusrial uel, manuacuring, oil ren-ing, and moor vehicles.
How big is particle pollution?
Fine beach sandPM = picometer
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency