It’s happened to everyone. You’re walking down the street and see the “Pardon Our Dust” sign just as you’re enveloped in a dust cloud. It’s annoying sure, but that dust runoff causes far more problems than a slight inconvenience on your way to work. Dust pollution from commercial and home construction sites is a major environmental problem, and we need to do something to control it.
What’s the problem with a little dust?
It’s not just a little: Dust is one of the top 10 causes of all air pollution, and it’s expected to grow as temperatures and construction development increases. Dust spreads harmful air pollutants around the world, and the fine particles form dust which can be one of the most harmful air pollutants.
In addition to the environmental concerns, dust pollution causes serious health problems for workers on the construction site. COPD, silicosis and occupational asthma are the three most common dust-related illnesses that can cause permanent damage to your respiratory system.
Alright, so what can we do to control it?
It’s actually pretty easy. There are a few things you implement right away and some products that will help you take your dust control to the next level:
- Put up some physical barriers, like mesh fences, to prevent dust from encroaching the surrounding residential areas
- Line any area where you’ll be cutting wood with tarps
- Keep any vehicles on paved roads as much as possible
- Load and unload everything downwind of any storage piles
- Use a dust stabilizer like Soil2O Dust Control that will bind to the dust particles and turn dirt into a pavement-like surface
How much is this actually going to help?
More than you can imagine. With proper treatment, you can reduce your dust pollution by up to 80%. In addition to cutting back on air pollution and providing a cleaner safer working environment for construction workers, controlling your dust will help you cut back on water, fuel, equipment and labor costs.
GelTech Solutions has a dust control calculator that will show you much you’ll save each year by using Soil2O Dust Control, and OSHA has a silica advisor that can help you see how much silica is at your construction site and how you can properly manage it.
Where does dust need to be controlled?
Construction sites and unpaved roads cause the most dust pollution, but they aren’t the only ones. Other sources of dust pollution include:
- Coal and limestone storage piles
- Gravel and heavy trafficked roads
- Baseball diamonds
- Horse arenas
- Manufacturing plants
Photo: GelTech Solutions