Particulate Matter


Ambient particulate matter consists of a mixture of particles of varying size and chemical composition. Particles that are less than 10 micrometers in diameter (PM10) can be inhaled. The fraction of particles, which are less than 2.5 micrometers in diameter (PM2.5) can be trapped in the airways and lungs and is believed to cause adverse health effects. Fine particles (PM2.5) also reduce visibility and can contribute to acidification of soils.


Sources of PM10 size particles include windblown soil, road dust, and industrial activities. PM2.5 size particles are formed from gases released to the atmosphere by combustion processes such as from motor vehicles, power plants, gas processing plants, compressor stations, household heating, and forest fires.

Alberta Guidelines

Guidelines for ambient atmospheric concentrations of PM10 and PM2.5 size particles are under consideration by the Alberta and federal governments.

Provisional standards for PM2.5 are:

  • 1–hour average of 80 µg/m3
  • 24–hour average of 30 µg/m3

Air Quality Data

Date Range – From
Date Range – To

Particulate Matter (PM) Trends

Time Range


NOTE: A 1 hour guideline of 80 µg/m2 has been established for fine particulate (PM2.5). Course particulate (PM10) values, for which no guideline has been established, are displayed for Steeper, Hinton and Breton .