What are fugitive dust emissions?
Fugitive dust refers to small airborne particle called particulate matter. These small airborne particles have the potential to adversely affect human health or the environment and cause unwanted damages. EPA defines fugitive dust as “particulate matter that is generated or emitted from open air operations (emissions that do not pass through a stack or a vent)”. EPA classifies particulate matter as one of six principal air pollutants that are commonly found, which include carbon monoxide, lead, nitrogen dioxide, ozone, and sulphur dioxide. Particulate matter can consist of solid particles and liquid droplets suspended in the air. The most common forms of particulate matter that can be easily identifies are commonly known as PM10 (particulate matter with a diameter of 10 microns or less) and PM2.5 (particulate matter with a diameter of 2.5 microns or less). Other particulate matter such as sulphates and nitrates majorly contribute to visibility degradation and harm public health.
Where does fugitive dust generally come from?
Sources of fugitive dust can be both natural and human based on the type of dust: Natural sources of fugitive dust are mainly wind erosion – especially in dry, arid conditions and areas of sparse vegetation. Wildfires are another natural source of fugitive dust that are not as common as wind erosion but damage the environment on very high scales globally. Fugitive dust can also be caused due to human activities. Human activities include: Agriculture Building construction and demolition Commercial and Industrial activities on Gravel pits, asphalt batch plants and Mining and mineral processing and vehicular emissions and traffic.
Derogatory effects of long- and short-term fugitive dust:
Excessive fugitive dust and particulate matter emissions can have significant negative impacts on human health. Particles can be so small that they pass through the nasal passage, travel to the deepest parts of the lungs, and cause damage internally. To compound the problem, toxic and cancer-causing chemicals can attach themselves to the particulate matter and can produce much more profound effects when inhaled which can also cause permanent damage to human health. The tiniest of particles can even pass through the lungs into the bloodstream which might be very difficult to track and identify. People who are most at risk from breathing particulate pollution are children, the elderly, and people with respiratory or heart disease. Healthy people can be affected as well, especially people who exercise outdoor. Fugitive dust and particulate matter emissions are known to have been linked to Asthma, Emphysema, Chronic Obstructive, Pulmonary Disease Chronic Bronchitis and heart diseases.
How is fugitive dust regulated commonly?
Department regulations protect human health and the environment so that fugitive dust does not cause unhealthily air and can vary from on nation to another. The government sets norms and levels of dust acceptance post which serious harm can be caused to the living things in and around the area.
Regulating the fugitive dust in a particular region is very important for the well being of the members of the community.