What Is dust control?
Dust control refers to the system that is commonly used to reduce or eliminate dust emissions from the activities that generate airborne and fugitive dust and cause erosion. The amount of dust generated depends on several external factors, including the nature of the surface, degree of the surface distribution and climactic conditions of that particular location. In arid or semi-arid regions such as those with deserts or places with periods of dry weather, dust generation is typically a larger issue that needs to be properly dealt with to prevent any accidents or damages.
Where is dust control needed?
Dust control systems are commonly used in many areas. In places that have commercial activities such as mining, broadacre, agriculture, recreation, and industrial stockpiling, large open areas of loosely bound materials can generate copious amounts of dust and debris. To safely work in and use these areas, dust control measures must be taken.
Fugitive dust is generally generated when vegetation id removed and the soil is exposed to wind and air. Light winds can pick up and transport silty soils, fine sand as well as clay. Coarse sand can also be transported by strong heavy winds. Such soil particles along with any existing fertilizers, pesticides and insecticides used on the field may finally settle out on surfaces of water and leaves and can also tend to harm tender shoots of fresh vegetation. Such airborne particles are also known to create clouds of dust that impact human health and the general standards of living in that particular area. Hence the damage is not only extended to the environment and plats but also to humans and other animals that may be living in and around that area.
Dust supersessions are widely used in farming techniques to minimize such dust emissions and help in controlling soil erosion while ensuring that maintenance costs do not skyrocket. The type of product drastically influences the working of dust suppressants. Certain dust suppressants form crusts or protective surfaces on the soil while other dust suppressants act as binding agents which cause particles to agglomerate together and attract moisture into the soil particles that weighs it down are prevents any dust.
Depending on the amount of dust created, which is based on various activities and locations, different palliative treatments of dust suppressing additives can be used easily. Watering the dust creating surfaces has traditionally been a simple and effective way of reducing nuisance dust but is not the sole option for users. Many other types of dust suppressants have been developed over the years such as water absorbing chemicals, organic nonpetroleum based dust suppressants, synthetic polymers, clay additive products and electrochemical.
Petroleum-based products can however introduce potentially toxic materials into the land area if they are not suitable and carefully monitored. Further, the production of these products can have a negative environmental impact causing increased global warming and the production of toxic by-products that may not be desired.
However extensive use of dust suppressants can also lead to the harm of the environment by causing a deuteriation in the quality of surface as well as ground water, contamination of area soil, toxicity to soil and water biota, air pollution from volatile dust suppressant components, changes in hydrologic characteristics of the natural soils and impacts on native flora and fauna populations.
Environmental benefits of dust control:
The most obvious impact of dust is what is visibly seen such as soiled homes, vehicles, plants and fauna. Fine suspended dust particles contribute significantly to the particulate loading in the atmosphere making road dust a major source of air pollution that needs to be urgently tackled with the rising rates of pollution. Airborne dust can contaminate nearby vegetation and aquatic resources. This can be particularly harmful to agricultural roads where excessive dust can affect plant growth which directly impacts human health and wellbeing.
Water for dust control:
The most simple and convenient mode of dust supressing has always been water. By wetting a surface, the increased moisture prevents the soil from disintegrating. However, during hotter months or in dry arid regions, water has only a short dust suppression effect as it evaporates really fast. In as little as 10 minutes, dust rises again almost immediately.
Watering alone in such conditions would require frequent repeating and this method of dust control is labour intensive, ineffective, and a waste of limited water resources in an increasingly scare condition. The cost of constant watering can also be very high, considering the high cost of labour, fuel, tanker maintenance, pump maintenance, tanker investments and shortage of groundwater for human consumption which make it pointless to be used on a regular routine basis.
Application procedures of dust suppressants:
There are various aspects of using a dust suppressant system to be kept in mind to ensure that there are no damages and the effectiveness is achieved.
- It is essential to understand the specific application of the dust suppressants before any application process may begin. Reading and understanding this can help in the easy application of the entire process.
- The application of the dust suppressants must be limited to the specified area only to prevent any accidents or unwanted damages.
- The amount of dust suppressants applied should not exceed to stipulations to effectively supress dust.
- The amount of dust suppressants used should be reduced if there is any visible evidence of excess products.
- It is the responsibility of the user to ensure that dust suppressants do not enter and contaminate any water bodies or seep into the groundwater.
- Dust suppressants should not be used in areas that tend to flood easily.
- Dust suppression products must not be used if precipitation in any form is occurring, or forecast to occur before the product sets or cures.
Dust suppression treatments are not permanent and have to be reapplied periodically based on the length of the time that the dust suppressants are effective. This is based on various external factors such as type of products used, type of soils, general weather conditions and water conditions.