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It's easy to assume that particulate matter--air pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuels and other materials--can cause damage to the lungs. But the real danger when it comes to this kind of air pollution is particle size. The smaller the particles, the greater the damage to the respiratory system.
A culprit in these damaging particles? Diesel engines such as the ones found on large trucks and on public transportation. The air pollution problems caused by diesel are due to incomplete combustion, and while advances in some engines is reducing emissions, there are far too many ordinary diesel engines on the road, spewing health damaging particles.
If you live near a highway, filling station, or other concentration of diesel exhaust, you should consider an air filtration system in your home.