Thursday, October 17, 2019

Oklahoma receives EPA grant to monitor fine particulate matter

The Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) recently received an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant of nearly $650,000 to monitor fine particulate matter, PM 2.5, according to an EPA announcement July 15.

Created by a variety of sources including power plants, industries and automobiles, PM 2.5–named by their diameters, which must be 2.5 micrometers or less–are created when gas emissions react with the air. They can also be directly created by forest fires.

PM 2.5 can be a serious concern, causing heart and respiratory system issues when inhaled, the EPA said. Health problems associated with the particles, which can travel deep into the lungs, include decreased lung function, aggravated asthma, irregular heartbeat, nonfatal hear attacks and even premature death in cases with existing heart or lung disease.

The EPA grant of $646,582 will help Oklahoma’s DEQ monitor the ambient air quality and track PM 2.5 pollution, the EPA said. Other steps against PM 2.5 include climate action, which can be an effective measure for forest fire reduction.

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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