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What is a particulate matter sensor?

What is a particulate matter sensor?
Posted on 31-1-2022 by Nienke Vinkenvleugel

A particulate matter sensor measures the quantity of (fine) dust particles in the air, expressed in PM (Particulate Matter). Particulate matter are (dust) particles smaller than 10 micrometers (µm). The more particulate matter in the air, the unhealthier the air. A particulate matter sensor displays the air quality in a simple and clear way. Good particulate matter sensors often have several functions, not only measuring dust particles under 10 µm, but also under 2.5 µm, CO2, moisture and other volatile gases.

So how large are these fine dust particles?

A good particulate matter detector has a measuring range between 0.3 µm and 10 µm.
µm stands for the unit micrometer and is equal to 10 to the minus sixth (10-6), or one thousandth part of a millimetre. In this case, we are talking about fine dust with a size of 0.0025 - 0.01 millimetres. To give you an idea: the thickness of a human hair varies per hair type from 0.050 to 0.180 millimetres. so fine dust can be over 600 times smaller than a human hair.

The Aeros fine dust meter in our range even measures ultrafine dust down to 0.3 µm, which are very small particles like aerosols and the coronavirus. In the picture below you can see how small such a corona particle actually is compared to a human hair.

hoe groot is fijnstof

Why do I need a particulate matter sensor?

Air pollution is a growing problem and poses serious health risks. It is therefore important to keep a close eye on the air quality, so that you can take timely measures if necessary.

The fact that the air appears clean does not mean that it actually is clean. The only way to find out how many dust particles are in the air is by measuring them. The amount of particulate matter depends on various factors and can vary throughout the day. For example, the air is usually cleaner in the afternoon than in the morning and in the afternoon, because there is less traffic then. Temperature can also play a role. Consider, for example, the use of wood-burning stoves in winter. Indoor air is mainly polluted by activities such as cooking. These are just a few examples; particulate matter is formed in many different ways.

Dust particles are inhaled unnoticed and can damage your health and aggravate already existing diseases. Particles smaller than 2.5 micrometres are particularly dangerous, as they can penetrate deep into your lungs. You may experience symptoms such as breathing difficulties, coughing, fatigue and headaches. Children, the elderly and people with heart, vascular and/or lung diseases are particularly sensitive to fine dust. And in the Netherlands no less than 1 million people suffer from lung disease. According to the government, exposure to polluted air affects our lifespan. They estimate that an average Briton lives about 13 months shorter as a result. Particulate matter accounts for 9 of these.

A particulate matter meter gives you an insight into the quality of the air you breathe. There are both indoor and outdoor particulate meters. If necessary, measures can be taken to reduce the number of dust particles. This way, you contribute to clean air for yourself, children and others.

In the range of Ventilationland you can find the following high quality indoor and outdoor particulate matter sensor:



Buy a particulate matter sensor


The Aeros Fine Dust Meter measures ultra fine dust, CO2, aerosols and TVOC and is suitable for use at home, in the office, restaurant or any other indoor location. The Aeros particulate matter sensor has a simple app on which the air quality can be checked 24/7. The traffic light with its coloured red, orange and green LED lights indicates the CO2 level in the room. This can be responded to immediately with good ventilation.

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