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Dust Health Concerns

Dust Health Concerns

The Clean Air Act requires the Environmental Protection Agency to set air quality standards to protect both the public’s health and the public’s welfare.

Dust Exposure Health Effects

Exposure to dust particles can lead to serious health problems. Coarse particles (found in wind-blown dust) and fine particles (found in smoke and haze) pose the greatest problems because they can get deep into the lungs. Scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to:

  • Decreased lung function
  • Development of chronic bronchitis
  • Increased respiratory symptoms
  • Heartbeat irregularities
  • Heart attacks
  • Hospital admissions or emergency room visits for heart or lung disease

Environmental Effects

Wind can carry particles over long distances and then settle on ground or water. This settling:

  • Makes lakes and streams acidic
  • Changes the nutrient balance in coastal waters and large river basins
  • Depletes the nutrients in soil
  • Damages sensitive forests and farm crops
  • Affects the diversity of ecosystems

Learn More

Contact Us

Air Quality Program

Main: 303-441-1564
Submit a question


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