Soot poses tremendous harms to public health, particularly because of its size. Particulate matter is so small that it can easily enter your lungs and bloodstream, potentially causing damage in a number of ways.
The Environmental Protection Agency describes the process of soot harming the human body:
Microscopic particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and have been linked to a wide range of serious health effects, including premature death, heart attacks, and strokes, as well as acute bronchitis and aggravated asthma among children.
The American Lung Association adds that breathing particle pollution can potentially cause “cancer and developmental and reproductive harm.”
Nearly 6 million people in the United States live in an area with unhealthy year-round levels of particle pollution. The most vulnerable members of the population are children, the elderly, low-income communities, and people with pre-existing heart and lung diseases. Healthy adults, however, can also suffer from its adverse effects.
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