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particulate matter

EPA Glossary of Climate Change Terms
Solid particles or liquid droplets suspended or carried in the air (e.g., soot, dust, fumes, mist). See aerosolsulfate aerosols.
Provided as a public service by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Reference list click here.
Environmental Engineering Dictionary
(Water Quality) In water pollution, particulate matter describes solid material in either the solid or dissolved states. Insoluble particulate matter includes particulate substances that either settle from water that is allowed to stand or are removed by passing the water through a filter. Sand, clay, and some organic matter constitute insoluble particulate matter. Dissolved substances that will neither settle if water is allowed to stand nor be removed by passage through a filter, but which will be recovered if the water is allowed to evaporate, are called dissolved particulate matter. Salt is an example of this type of particulate matter. In air pollution, particulate matter is used to describe either solid particles or liquid droplets that are carried by a stream of air or other gases.
Any material, except pure water, that exists in the solid or liquid state in the atmosphere. The size of particulate matter can vary from coarse, wind-blown dust particles to fine particle combustion products. For more information, click here.


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