Fugitive dust is a major problem for people who live on or near unpaved roads. Not only does it create an unsafe driving environment, but it also carries airborne particles into nearby homes, causing damage to property and health issues for residents. This type of dust can also affect crops and interfere with transportation, affecting regional trade. Unfortunately, common dust control products don’t always do the job.
Some methods for controlling road dust involve spraying water on the surface of the soil, which wets it and prevents it from blowing away in the wind. However, this is a temporary solution. It must be repeated regularly, which can be costly and difficult to do on large stretches of road. In addition, the large amount of water needed for dust mitigation can leach chemicals into surrounding vegetation and groundwater.
Another option for dust suppression involves applying a coating to the surface of the soil. Petroleum-based binders, like cutback asphalt and emulsified asphalts, coat the dirt particles with a layer of material that helps them stay stuck to the ground instead of flying into the air. Organic non-petroleum binders, such as resins and lignosulfonates, are also available. These are effective at reducing road dust by binding the soil particles together, especially those that have high plasticity in a dry condition.
Spraying the roads with a hygroscopic salt, such as Calcium Chloride or Magnesium Chloride, can also be effective at preventing dust. These hygroscopic salts absorb moisture from the air to keep road surfaces damp. They are less toxic than chlorides, and safer for children, animals, and surrounding vegetation.
Some other ways to control dust include minimizing traffic, installing speed bumps, and constructing drainage channels. These methods can decrease vehicle speeds on unpaved roads, which reduces their dust production. Additionally, putting weight restrictions on vehicles and encouraging carpooling can help lower the amount of traffic on these types of roads.
Using a gravel surface for roadways can also help with dust control. The hard, angular nature of the gravel can help project the underlying soil outwards from any wheel impacts. However, this method is not as effective as paved roads in mitigating road dust. If a road is not properly graded and compacted, wind can dislodge pieces of gravel and send them into the air.
The most effective way to stop road dust is to stabilize the soil. Soilworks offers a revolutionary copolymer product called Soiltac, which stabilizes soil and controls dust without the environmental problems associated with traditional fugitive dust control products. This product is safe for children and pets, non-toxic, odorless, water resistant, and non-flammable.
While fugitive dust causes significant health, safety and environmental concerns for everyone, it’s important to understand how to control road dust effectively and safely. There are several solutions for preventing road dust, and it is crucial to find the right one for your situation. By choosing the right solution for your road, you can eliminate dangerous and expensive dust.