PM2.5s are particles that are small enough to enter the lungs. Particles that are larger than 3 microns in diameter (PM3s) are too large to get into the lungs.
Harvard School of Public Health found that for every reduction of one microgram per cubic metre of industrial PM2.5 emissions in average levels of industrial PM2.5 emissions, there were 3% fewer deaths. The largest drops in mortality rates were in cities with the greatest reduction in fine particulate air pollution, ie PM2.5s. Click here for the Harvard press release 15 March, 2006.
Unlike the USA and many other countries, the UK do not measure PM2.5s, preferring to measure PM10s, ie particles that are between 11 microns and 4 microns in diameter that are too large to get into the lungs and cause a range of illnesses and premature deaths of all ages.
The huge increase in PM2.5 emissions in the UK during the last decade has reversed the previous upward trend in life expectancy. If life expectancy were increasing, the age of the oldest resident would also be increasing. That is not happening as the oldest recorded resident was 115 years old in 2000. Infant mortality rates are highest where industrial PM2.5 exposure is greatest. Anyone living in an electoral ward with a high infant mortality rate can expect their lifespan to be curtailed with their health.