The main problem faced by roads across the country is the generation and transportation of dust and fine particles due to vehicular traffic. This problem is even more high lightened in summer months when the moisture content in the air is drastically reduces and the environment faces dryness. Dust particles that are smaller than 150 micrometers in diameter are generated behind the moving vehicles and cause disturbance to tourists and travellers hence reducing the vision distance of drivers which in turn reduces the level of road safety. Other negative effects of dust include damage to human health and long-term health hazards, decline in plant growth, water pollution, air pollution, pavement and property destruction and increased cost of road repairing and maintenance. Studies have shown that the maximum dust emission and generation process occurs at a threshold speed of about 25–35 kilometres per hour.
Generally, dust control treatments cannot work effectively and show visible results on the soil surface or on roads that contain more than 30% of fine particles in their pavement materials. The use of these chemical treatments on roads with less than 5% of fine particles in their materials is not efficient either. Apart from this, the conventional dust control treatments in sandy soils have a small efficiency due to low plasticity. In the case of forest roads, it is necessary to use cost-effective and environmentally friendly approaches to dust control as they will be sustainable in the long run with rough use.
Sugar cane molasses is a thick and dark brown juice that can be easily and commercially extracted from the sugarcane stem. It acts as a binder of fine particles on the road surface, preventing dust emission from flying and spreading in this way. The use of acrylic-based polymer mulch is also expanding because of its environmental friendliness, cost effectiveness as well as safety advantages. Polyacrylamides are odourless, colourless and non-polluting in surface and underground waters, plant tissues and soil and can hence be considered as the right dust suppression mode in certain specific cases.
Bentonites are commonly known as the swelling clay especially in the presence of moisture which has a high level of inflation, good adhesion and moisture absorbing capacity. Bentonite is used to control dust through electrostatic bonding and agglomeration techniques. More than 87% of the bentonite chemical composition includes various substances and chemicals that are combined in specific ratios to achieve the desired results. Another study examined the potential of common molasses (sugar syrup) and water in mitigating dust emission from gravel roads and compared this combination with a dust suppression control treatment. Each set of experimentation was carried at a rate of 4 litres per square meter. The results showed that the dust suppression capacity of molasses was 83% and water showed a dust suppression capacity of 39%.
The climatic and geological features of the region are among the most common and influencing reasons for dust generation in some forest roads. Especially in areas where the presence of wind sediments in the form of silt, clay and sand particles in the soil bed causes massive dust and as a result of the high quantities of dust the forest roads face constant wear and tear and are being destroyed very easily. This issue has led to a high annual cost of the renewal of materials and the through restoration of forest roads in all areas.