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12 ways of controlling dust during construction activities

Dust occurring from construction is scientifically described as Construction Dust Emission (CDE) that takes place from a range of onsite activities like drilling, loading and unloading, excavation, open-air material storage, cutting and filling, and bulk material transportation which leads to detrimental impacts on people. For instance, in China, where the construction dust is 27% responsible for causing human health damages out of other factors of construction pollution.

 

So, here are some tips and tricks through which you can control dust on the construction sites:

  • Water 

To control dust, one can use water which is seen as the most effective and excellent solution. Water should be applied a couple of times a day, depending on the atmospheric conditions. The quantity of water applied should be carefully managed to prevent excess water that can cause erosion problems. A water tanker is driven on-site spraying water over the affected areas preventing dust from airborne.

  • Pay attention to cleaning

Settling down dust particles is important but another most important tip is to clean the site at the end of every day. However, where most of the people prefer broom or cloth for dusting, it is recommended to use a vacuum cleaner because brooming can blow the dust particles from the cracks in the air.

  • Tillage- roughening the land

This measure has turned out to be one of the most effective when it comes to having control over wind erosion. For the best result, tilling should leave a minimum of 15 cm furrows perpendicular to the wind direction. By doing this, one can reduce wind erosion to a great extent, hence, controlling dust.

  • Vegetation and Mulching 

Mulching is one of the most prominent methods used in agriculture and it is 80% effective at construction sites as well. Being the best alternative of water, this ‘green’ method can help prevent soil from erosion and protects loose soil.

  • Using barriers for controlling dirt

Creating a thin or fence covering the areas of cutting and mixing of stuff is going on can prevent a lot of dust floating in the air. This method might not prevent dust as much as other methods but it can help containing it to a large extent.

  • Dumping sand and other material

Dumping sand used in construction can be a big contributor to the spreading of dust in the air. Which is why, while loading or unloading such material, keep it close to the ground or to the back of the truck.

  • Plastic wall for remolding

Covering the area of remolding with a thin plastic wall is seen as the most effective during the renovation as people living in the house get their personal space and the rest of the house is protected from dirt and mess of construction.

  • Apply Polymer

Apply polymer to the top of the soil and then spray water to create a seal over the loose soil. This simple method is, however, effective on the sites where there is less traffic.

  • Transportation of materials

Another measure to control dust is to transfer the muddy substances like cement, fine powders, and sand in closed or covered tankers. Moreover, storing it in silos would be perfect because it will prevent overfilling and escaping of material as well.

  • Describe a speed limit

Lowering the speed of the vehicle on the unpaved roads can be a big benefit. Limiting the appropriate speed between 45 to 30 mph can reduce dust emission up to 25%

  • Use of chloride

Chloride will ensure the required amount of moisture to prevent problems associated with dust. Its quality of being naturally hygroscopic enables it to suck and retain moisture from its surroundings. This allows the product to keep roads damp and control dust even in the middle of summer during hot and dry conditions. Further, it helps in stabilization of unpaved roads and create smooth and lasting road.

  • Regular inspection

Keeping an eye on effectiveness of all mitigation measures and analyzing their results are necessary which can be done by an accountable person.

 

Wrapping up

Maintaining the quality of the air is our job which is why paying attention to every single detail is necessary. So, with these methods, keep your workplace and environment clean and safe.


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