How small is a micron and why does it matter?

How small is a micron and why does it matter?

One micron is 1/25,000 of an inch. To understand just how small this is, consider that human hairs measure between 30 and 120 microns. Dust mite allergen measures from .1 to .3 micron and staphylococcus bacteria measures .7 micron. The size of a given particle helps to determine the degree of potential threat to human health. Particles ranging from .3 to .9 micron present the greatest health concern.

These irritating mid-range particles include house and textile dust, pollen, pet dander, dust mites and their feces, many bacteria, auto exhaust, mold spores, and particles from laser printers and copiers. Particles in this size range (.3 to .9 micron) are small enough to get past the tiny hairs that line our breathing passages and too large to be easily exhaled.

Because mid-range particles are more likely to become lodged in lung tissue, they are suspect in a wide range of health problems related to indoor air pollution, from headaches and dizziness to cardiovascular disease and cancer. In particular, pollen, pet dander, mold spores and dust mite particles are known to trigger asthma episodes and allergy attacks.

While smaller particles (.1 to .3 micron) can be inhaled and exhaled more easily than mid-range particles, even these minute particles may irritate breathing passages and lungs. Smaller particle filtration is particularly beneficial to people living with allergies, asthma, other respiratory conditions, or cardiovascular disease.