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Aerosol

Definition:

An aerosol is a collection of microscopic particles, solid or liquid, suspended in a gas.

In the context of air pollution, an aerosol refers to fine particulate matter, that is larger than a molecule, but small enough to remain suspended in the atmosphere for at least several hours.

The term aerosol is also commonly used for a pressurized container (aerosol can) which is designed to release a fine spray of a material such as paint. It has also come to be associated, erroneously, with the gas (propellant) used to expel materials from an aerosol can.

Source: GreenFacts

More:

Natural sources of aerosols include salt particles from sea spray, dust and clay particles from the weathering of rocks. Aerosols can also originate as a result of human activities and are often considered pollutants.

Aerosols play an important role in the atmosphere namely in the condensation of water droplets and ice crystals, various chemical cycles, and the absorption of solar radiation.

Source: GreenFacts, based on EPA Glossary of Climate Change Terms 

Related words:

PM10, PM2.5, PM0.1 - Particulate matter

Translation(s):

Español: Aerosol
Français: Aérosol
Nederlands: Aerosol

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