Emissions and Particulate Matter

Particulate Matter Composition

Particulate Matter (PM) pollution is comprised of a mixture of solid and liquid particles in the air. There are many compounds that make-up PM pollution. The most common types of PM are:

  • Dust
  • Elemental Carbon
  • Organic Carbon (including hydrocarbon molecules)
  • Ammonium
  • Nitrate
  • Sulfate
  • Water
  • Salt

Sources of PM Pollution

Like the composition of PM pollution, the sources of PM pollution can vary, many of them are considered "area sources". In Central Texas, the major sources of PM pollution are: 

  • Dust from Roads
  • Dust from Construction Sites and Activities
  • Smoke and Particles from Open Burning
  • Smoke and Particles from Wildfires and Prescribed Burns
  • Dust from Agricultural Activities
  • Hydrocarbons from Commercial Cooking
  • Dust and Particles from Mining and Quarrying Activities
  • Dust and Particles from Other Countries, such as Saharan Dust and particles from agricultural burning in Mexico and Latin America
  • Mobile Sources such as heavy-duty vehicles and personal vehicles

Additionally, other sources can contribute to PM pollution. 

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