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Air Pollution

What is air pollution?

What is Particulate Matter?

Air Pollution from Fossil Fuels

Different Ways to Get Energy

Other Causes of Air pollution

Can the Air Inside be Polluted Too?

Eight things YOU can do to help keep our air clean!

What is Particulate Matter?

Air pollution comes in many forms. One form of air pollution is called particulate matter. Particulate matter is just very small little pieces, or particles, of stuff that go up into the air and are carried off and spread by the wind. Dust and ash are some examples of particulate matter. So is soot. Soot is the black dust that is created when we burn wood or fossil fuels like coal, diesel, and oil. When you see black smoke coming from a big truck or bus, that smoke contains a lot of soot from the diesel fuel the truck or bus is burning in its engine. You can also see soot coming from the chimneys of houses in your neighborhood. Because particulate matter is so small and is spread by the wind, it's very easy to breathe it in. If we breathe in too much particulate matter, it can make us sick.