PM10 are very small particles found in dust and smoke. They have a diameter of 10 micrometres (0.01 mm) or smaller.
PM10 particles are a common air pollutant. We measure PM10 at some of our air monitoring sites.
Health effects of PM10 particles
PM10 particles are small enough to get into your throat and lungs. High levels of PM10 can make you cough, your nose run and eyes sting.
People with heart or lung conditions might have more symptoms when PM10 levels are high. Symptoms can include wheezing, chest tightness or difficulty breathing.
What you can do when PM10 levels are high
If PM10 particle levels are high, you can:
- avoid being outside in the smoke or dust, especially if you’re experiencing symptoms
- close your windows and doors
- if you have asthma, follow your asthma action plan
- if you have a heart or lung condition, follow your treatment plan
- if you’re worried about your symptoms, see your doctor or call Nurse on Call on 1300 606 024.
Sources of PM10 particles
Common sources of PM10 particles include:
- dust from unsealed roads
- smoke from fires
- sea salt
- car and truck exhausts
PM10 on EPA AirWatch
We show PM10 data on EPA AirWatch using air quality categories.
|Air quality category||
PM10 µg/m3 averaged over 1 hour
|Good||Less than 40|
|Extremely poor||More than 300|
Current standards for PM10
We compare PM10 data against national air quality standards.
We follow national air quality standards in our State Environment Protection Policy (Ambient Air Quality), with the exception of the PM10 annual standard.
Victoria has adopted a stricter PM10 annual standard of 20 µg/m3.
|National standard||Averaging time|
|50 µg/m3||24 hours|
|25 µg/m3 (Victorian standard 20 µg/m3)||Annual|
Read more about air quality
Vehicle emissions and air quality
Clean air and future air quality
Reviewed 16 March 2021