What is dust suppression?
Dust suppression refers to the application of water and a mix of chemicals that are used to prevent fine particles from being carried into the air or the air above the surface to being weighed down back to the land. A large portion of unpaved roads across the country. Unpaved roads are mostly used to connect rural farm-to-market kind of roads, forest service roads and timber haul road. These roads are generally very economic and easy to construct by using locally available soil and basic engineering properties.
Dust generation from unpaved roads generally occurs because of vehicular traffic and wind which leads to loss of the top layer road surface material. Subsequently, the loss of road surface material fine particles in the form of dust leads to the formation of ruts, potholes, and corrugation which can cause damage to the property, machinery and equipment. The amount of dust generated and the consequent fines loss is determined primarily by the volume of traffic using the unpaved road as well as the speed, weight, and number of wheels of the vehicle which all constitute to external factors that can directly influence the levels of dust.
The abrasive resistance of the road surface material and the number of fines in the initial road surface material mix are also important contributing factors in the level of dust. The climatic condition of a region is also a contributing factor affecting the dust generation quantity. Long dry spells that often occur in semiarid and arid regions can aggravate unpaved road dustiness based on location and climate.
Fugitive dust from unpaved roads is noted as a major non-point source contributor to the particulate loading in atmospheric air pollution and can be the direct cause for health ailments. To residents living along unpaved roads face major problem of the traffic-generated dust penetrating into their homes causing a nuisance and health problems such as hay fever and dust allergies. Crops and vegetation near unpaved roads can be covered with the airborne dust stunting their growth due to the shading effect and clogging of the plant’s pores which can disrupt the agricultural cycles.
Fine particles resulting from traffic actions can also be washed off during precipitation events and be carried into nearby creeks, streams, and lakes increasing their respective particulate loading which is the main cause for extreme water pollution in certain areas across the country. For motorists using the unpaved roads the traffic-generated dust can reduce visibility and cause driving hazards which can lead to accidents.
All these problems can be easily dealt with by using the right kind of dust suppression modes which is based on various factors. Choosing the right mode of dust suppression is also very important for the long-term benefits and efficiency to be maintained. It can prove to be a worthy investment where returns can be seen in the quality of air, water and standard of living in and around that area by giving these factors a major positive boost.