There are many studies on fine particles (PM2.5) and their fully negative effect on human health. There doesn't seem to have any positive aspect of inhaling particles, except very particular ones, but most often people smoke, and release all sort of unwanted and toxic PM2.5, same goes with for fuel combustion.

At a huge dose, we die within minutes, like in a gas chamber, at small dose below this hazardous health risk level, is it still dangerous to us? If yes, why aren't we equipped to fight them, I guess this smoke concentration and pollution level is very recent on human evolution scale, but at the lowest layer of life, bacteria may develop to break and eat toxic particles, does it happen it our blood? Is it hard to explain to a non-biologist like me?


Particulates can accumulate in the aveolae in the lungs. This leads to inflammation and tissue damage and scarring. This reduces the available surface area for gas transfer. Low level exposure over long periods is harmful. Asbestos workers are well known to get sick, but miners can get black lung or silicosis from inhaling mining dust, and farmers can get lung disease from inhaling dirt that gets blown up as dust. This damage usually isn't seen until they are in their 50s or 60s.

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  • $\begingroup$ Interesting. For the 3 examples you gave, is it high level exposure? What level is it for someone using his bike everyday, with part of the itinerary inside traffic? thanks $\endgroup$ – caub Jul 27 '14 at 17:30

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