The weather has finally warmed up, and the next season has begun in the Mid-Atlantic: We aren’t talking about summer, but the dreaded “Construction Season.” As this season begins, one of the main concerns for construction companies and government entities is construction site and road dust control. Dust can create a number of problems for nearby homes and businesses, ranging from air pollution and respiratory problems to increased wear and tear on equipment. Fortunately, there are a number of solutions available to help reduce dust on roads and other surfaces and Rasevic Companies has been providing road Dust Control Services for many years, so we can tell you all about it!
Dust control services are essential for maintaining the safety and health of workers, the public, and the environment. Construction sites, mining operations, and unpaved roads can generate excessive amounts of dust, which can be harmful to human health and the environment. In this article, we will discuss why dust control services are needed for roads and construction sites and the potential health risks associated with excessive dust exposure.
Why Is Road Dust Control Needed
Dust is a common byproduct of construction activities, mining operations, and unpaved roads. When not managed properly, this dust can cause serious health problems, including respiratory issues, heart disease, and lung cancer. Exposure to dust particles can irritate the lungs and cause coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and asthma attacks. Inhaling dust can also cause more serious health problems, such as silicosis, a lung disease caused by inhaling silica dust, and pneumoconiosis, a group of lung diseases caused by inhaling dust particles.
According to the World Health Organization, exposure to airborne particulate matter is responsible for more than 4 million premature deaths worldwide each year. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified particulate matter as a major air pollutant that can cause serious health effects, particularly in vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and people with heart or lung disease.
Road dust control services are essential for mitigating the harmful effects of dust exposure. These services involve applying dust suppressants such as calcium chloride and magnesium chloride to unpaved roads, mining operations, and construction sites. These suppressants are effective at reducing dust and stabilizing the road surface, making it less likely to erode and generate dust.
Calcium chloride and magnesium chloride are two of the most commonly used dust suppressant chemicals. These chemicals are effective at reducing dust because they absorb moisture from the air, creating a hard, compact surface that resists erosion and dust generation. These products are also environmentally friendly and safe to use around humans and animals in the right application amounts.
In addition to reducing health risks, dust control services also provide economic benefits. Dust can damage equipment and machinery, leading to higher maintenance costs and reduced productivity. By controlling dust, businesses can reduce the need for equipment repairs and increase the lifespan of their machinery.
Road Dust Control Solutions
It is most common to suppress dust by spraying water or liquid brine from calcium chloride or magnesium chloride. Let’s look at the pros and cons of each option.
Using Water for Dust Suppression
Water is often used as a quick and inexpensive solution for controlling dust on dirt roads and construction sites. However, there are pros and cons to using water instead of chemicals such as calcium chloride or magnesium chloride.
- Cost-effective: Water is readily available and inexpensive, making it a cost-effective solution for controlling dust on dirt roads and construction sites.
- Environmentally friendly: Water is a natural resource that does not have any negative impact on the environment. Unlike chemicals, water is non-toxic and does not contribute to water pollution.
- Easy to apply: Water can be easily applied using a variety of methods, such as spraying or sprinkling, making it a convenient solution for controlling dust.
- Limited effectiveness: Water is not as effective as chemicals in controlling dust. It only provides temporary relief and needs to be reapplied frequently, especially during hot, dry weather conditions.
- Increased maintenance: Water can cause soil erosion and lead to the formation of potholes, increasing the need for road maintenance.
- Increased risk of accidents: Wet surfaces can be slippery and increase the risk of accidents, especially when driving on dirt roads.
- Softening surfaces: making roads muddy is not helpful and can cause equipment to get stuck and be extra dirty which could cause operational issues.
- Health risks: Dust suppression with water can result in increased humidity and dampness, which can lead to the growth of mold and bacteria. This can pose health risks, especially for people with respiratory problems.
While water may be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly solution for dust control, it is not as effective as chemicals such as calcium chloride or magnesium chloride. When considering options for dust suppression, it is important to weigh the pros and cons and choose a solution that is effective, environmentally friendly, and safe for the health of individuals and communities.
Using Ice Melt Chemicals for Dust Suppression
Unlike water, which quickly evaporates, calcium chloride and magnesium chloride remain on the surface long after being applied for road dust control, helping to suppress dust for an extended period of time. These products also work to harden the surface, making it more resistant to wear and tear from traffic and weather.
The effectiveness of using ice melt chemicals as dust suppressants depends on the amount of product applied, the type of soil, the traffic volume, and the weather conditions. Generally, a higher application rate and denser soil will result in longer-lasting results. On average, calcium chloride and magnesium chloride are effective for dust suppression for up to six months after application.
However, it’s worth noting that the effectiveness of ice melt chemicals may decrease over time as it is exposed to weathering, traffic, and other factors. It’s important to monitor the road or surface and reapply calcium chloride or magnesium chloride as needed to maintain dust suppression. In some cases, reapplication may be necessary every three to four months.
In addition to the benefits of using calcium chloride and magnesium chloride for dust control, there are also potential risks associated with excessive dust exposure. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), exposure to dust can lead to a number of respiratory issues, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and lung cancer. This is especially concerning for those who work in the construction industry or other outdoor professions, as they may be exposed to dust on a daily basis. By using calcium chloride or magnesium chloride for dust control, businesses can help reduce the risk of respiratory problems for their workers and the general public.
When it comes to cost, calcium chloride and magnesium chloride can be more expensive than other dust control solutions, such as water or traditional road salts. However, the long-term benefits of using these products, such as reduced maintenance and repair costs, make them a more cost-effective solution in the long run. Additionally, many suppliers like offer bulk pricing and delivery options, making it easier and more affordable for businesses to purchase and use these products for dust control. At Rasevic Companies, we have supplier relationships to keep costs as low as possible to offer our customers valuable and cost-effective solutions to dust control.
Get a Road Dust Control Quote
For businesses looking to control dust on roads and other surfaces, calcium chloride and magnesium chloride are highly effective options that offer long-term benefits. These products reduce dust, harden surfaces, and help reduce the risk of respiratory problems associated with excessive dust exposure. While they may cost more than using water upfront, the long-term cost savings make them a worthwhile investment for any business looking to maintain clean and safe outdoor spaces.
If your construction site or road is located in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware or the greater Washington D.C. area of the Mid-Atlantic region, please reach out to our team at Rasevic Companies for a quote today. Just call 301-986-6900 or fill out the quick form below to email us.
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