Particle pollution is not just a problem for people. Particulates can be carried on the wind, land in streams or lakes, or get into the soil. This causes:
- Streams to become acidic.
- A change in the nutrient balance in coastal water and large river basins.
- Deficiencies in soil nutrients in the soil.
- Damage to forests and crops.
- A change in ecosystem diversity.
Particle pollution affects the airways and lungs, and can cause problems in other parts of your body. It's especially bad for those with chronic heart and lung disease (like asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema), children, and the elderly. It worsens these diseases, which can lead to hospitalization or even early death.
Children are at high risk because their lungs are still growing and they spend more time at high activity levels. Exercise and physical activity cause people to breathe faster and more deeply, taking more particles into their lungs.
Even if you’re healthy, you may experience temporary symptoms, such as irritation of the eyes, nose, throat, and respiratory system.