With reference to the air pollution, the Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM) is of two types viz. PM10 (diameter 10-2.5 microns) and PM2.5 (under 2.5 microns). Consider the following statements with this reference:
1. During winter the concentration of PM2.5 is higher than summer
2. While PM2.5 affects the lungs; the PM10 affects the upper respiratory tract
Which among the above is / are correct?

Answer: [C] Both 1 & 2

Pollutants are the made up of soot, dust or smoke particles, which is measured by particular yard stick called as Respirable Suspended Particulate Matter (RSPM). The size of these pollutants is very tiny, which makes it virtually impossible to filter them out, which are less than 10 microns in diameter.

RSPM is generally classified as PM10 (diameter 10-2.5 microns) and PM2.5 (under 2.5 microns).

Source of pollutants:

Source of these pollutants varies from organic to inorganic such as vehicular exhaust and stone-crushing and grinding, dust from construction  and paved roads.

Effect of RSPM on our body:

The smaller PM2.5 affects the lungs and the air passage the most. The smaller the particles, the deeper they enter the lungs. Whereas the PM10 affects the upper respiratory tract from the nose and windpipe.  Asthma and bronchial diseases are the result of RSPM which can worsens even further. It is most harmful for children, the pregnant women &  elderly person.

According to International research RSPM affects almost all organs, including the kidneys & brain and also contributes for lung cancer,  abnormal foetal development in pregnant women.

This question is a part of GKToday's Integrated IAS General Studies Module