Health Indicator Report of Fine Particulate Matter (PM2.5) in Outdoor Air
Particulate matter (PM) is a mixture of solid particles such as dust, ash, smoke and droplets in the air. PM can be emitted directly from a source (e.g., smoke stacks, tail pipes or construction sites) or can form in the atmosphere from chemicals emitted by power plants, industries and cars. Fine particles -- 2.5 microns in diameter or less (PM2.5) -- are of greatest health concern since they can be breathed deep into the respiratory tract. Exposure to these particles can lead to asthma attacks, coughing, shortness of breath, bronchitis, lung cancer, and premature death.
NotesExceedances displayed are only for counties with PM 2.5 monitors.
Data SourceU.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
DefinitionPercent of days in which the average concentration of fine particulate matter exceeds the regulatory standard at a monitoring point. Fine particulate matter is defined as particles that are 2.5 microns in diameter or less (PM2.5).
NumeratorNumber of days in a year in which the PM2.5 concentration at a monitor exceeded the National Ambient Air Quality Standard of 35 micrograms per cubic meter, averaged over 24 hours.
DenominatorFor percent of days: number of days in a year
How Are We Doing?New Jersey's Particulate Monitoring Network consists of 15 PM2.5 monitoring sites, 3 PM10 monitoring sites, and 5 sites where black carbon is monitored. Air quality in New Jersey has been improving. New Jersey's air monitoring program evaluates hourly air quality readings using the Air Quality Index (AQI). The AQI uses five of the six pollutants for which there are national health-based standards (ground-level ozone, particulates, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide) and compares the composite pollutant levels to the federal standards in order to assign an air quality rating such as "good" or "unhealthy". In 2020, the annual mean concentrations of PM2.5 ranged from 5.48 ug/m3 at the Morris County monitoring site to 9.55 ug/m3 at the Bergen County monitoring site. No sites were in violation of either the newer (2013) annual standard of 12.0 ug/m3 or the older 15.0 ug/m3 standard. The 24-hour standard of 35 ug/m3 was established in 2006.
What Is Being Done?New Jersey has put added emphasis on controlling emissions from diesel engines due to the severe adverse health effects associated with exposure to the components of diesel particles. Success story: Recommendations for Reducing Smog Throughout NJ and Beyond [http://www.nj.gov/health/ceohs/documents/epht/tra_action/reducing_smog_in_nj.pdf] Success story: Air Quality and Asthma in NJ Children [http://www.nj.gov/health/ceohs/documents/epht/tra_action/helping_children_breathe_easier.pdf] Success story: Collaborating to Diminish Smog and Improve Health in NJ [http://www.nj.gov/health/ceohs/documents/epht/tra_action/clean_air_nj.pdf]
Available ServicesThe NJDEP's Bureau of Air Monitoring measures air pollution levels in New Jersey around the clock and compare them to national health standards. Updates and forecasts are sent to the wire services and other media, and health advisories are also issued when air pollution reaches unhealthful levels. The NJDEP's Bureau of Air Monitoring web site contains information on current air quality as well as historic trends. The web site is: [https://nj.gov/dep/airmon/] The USEPA compiles air quality data from around the country and presents it to the public on the following web site: [http://www.airnow.gov] To sign up to receive air quality alerts, sign up at EPA's Enviroflash website: [http://www.enviroflash.info/] Throughout the year, as part of the nightly news, local TV networks frequently broadcast a map showing the next day's air quality forecast for the different regions of the state. Check your TV listings for channel information.
Page Content Updated On 09/13/2021, Published on 09/13/2021