New Zealand's Environment Reporting Series: The Ministry for the Environment and Statistics New Zealand
Particulate matter (PM) comprises solid and liquid particles in the air. PM10 particles have a diameter less than 10 micrometres. Coarse particles (2.5–10 micrometres) can be inhaled – they generally deposit in the upper airways; fine particles (smaller than 2.5 micrometres) can deposit deep in the lungs where air-gas exchange occurs. Children, the elderly, and people with existing heart or lung issues have a higher risk of health problems from exposure to PM10. These problems include decreased lung function, heart attack, and mortality. Human-generated PM10 sources include burning wood and coal for home heating, and traffic emissions (eg combustion, tyre and brake wear, and pavement breakdown). Natural sources include sea salt, dust, pollen, and mould spores. More information on this dataset and how it relates to our environmental reporting indicators and topics can be found in the attached data quality pdf.