What is Dust Suppression?
Dust is a common health and environmental problem anywhere in the world, which is why dust suppression solutions are implemented to prevent the airborne spread of fine particles. Although the types of products differ, they are commonly applied hydraulically to capture airborne dust particles and hold them to the ground. There are also other dust suppression solutions that are sprayed to sources of dust to prevent dust lift-off.
As Australia’s leading environmental solutions provider, Spray Grass Australia have developed various products for dust control, each with its own advantages and purpose. In this article, we will dive into why dust suppressants are beneficial, the different types of dust, effective dust suppression solutions, and how Spray Grass Australia can help.
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Why is Dust Suppression Important
Prolonged exposure to dust can have adverse impacts on your health and the environment. Some of the associated health risks include coughing, shortness of breath, worsening asthma symptoms, allergic reactions, pneumoconiosis, and other respiratory problems.
As dust gets carried by the wind and enters water streams or settles on the ground, it can damage farm crops and forests, change the nutrient balance in water systems, and deplete soil nutrients.
Ultimately, the effects of dust on surrounding environments and nearby communities depend on different factors such as proximity to the source of dust, the wind, and other climatic conditions.
In Australia, the government implements dust exposure limits across different states to maintain workplace safety. Here are the dust exposure limits that companies must comply with:
- South Australia- Starting 1 July 2020, SafeWork SA has implemented a reduced workplace exposure limit (WEL) for respirable crystalline silica to an 8-hour TWA (time-weighted average) of 0.05mg/m3.
- Victoria- The exposure limit for crystalline silica dust is 0.05mg/m3 as a TWA airborne concentration over 8 hours, while WorkSafe Victoria maintains workers must not be exposed to over 0.02mg/m3 as a TWA to prevent silicosis and lung cancer.
- Queensland- Starting 1 September 2020, the silica dust TWA occupational exposure limit (OEL) has been decreased from 0.1 mg/m3 to 0.05 mg/m3, while the TWA OEL has been lowered from 2.5 mg/m3 to 1.5 mg/m3.
- New South Wales- The silica dust regulatory limits currently stand at 0.05mg/m3, while the new respirable coal dust workplace exposure limit of 1.5mg/m3 has been implemented from 1 February 2021.
- Western Australia- Starting 27 October 2021, Western Australia has implemented a respirable coal dust exposure limit of 1.5 mg/m3 and has minimised the respirable silica dust exposure standard by 50% to 0.05 mg/m3.
- Australian Capital Territory- Starting 1 July 2021, the workplace exposure standard for respirable crystalline silica has been decreased from 0.1 mg/m3 to 0.05 mg/m3.
Two Types of Dust
There are two main types of dust: organic and inorganic. Organic dust is derived from living matter, such as dead skin, pollen, dust mites, droppings, insects, and animal skin. On the other hand, inorganic dust is not derived from living matter such as asbestos, silica, coal, and dust from mining, construction, quarrying, and other industries.
Too much exposure to inorganic dust can lead to silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and lung cancer.
How to Suppress Dust
There are two main ways to suppress dust:
Dust Suppression Using Water
The most common dust suppression method involves using water, although there are other substances that can be added to it to capture airborne dust and prevent dust lift-off more effective. Using water for dust suppression may involve the manual tractor and bowser method, while an automated air atomising system can also be utilised.
ct with dust particles, they combine, increasing the weight of the dust particles and causing it to fall to the ground. The problem with this dust suppression method is that it requires a lot of water. For instance, the tractor and bowser method requires about a gallon of water per square metre per day.
Also, when water evaporates, the surface returns to its dusty state. This means during hot weather conditions, more water becomes wasted.
Dust Suppression Using Treatment Solutions
As technologies evolve, different dust suppression products are being developed to work more effectively while saving water. These products don’t evaporate and can provide a longer-term solution than water.
As Australia’s leading environmental solutions provider, Spray Grass Australia have scientifically developed the following dust suppression products for the mining, civil & infrastructure, energy, rail, and other industries.
- SuppressX- This dust suppressant is specifically designed for non-trafficked areas. It forms a protective barrier when applied, eliminating dust lift-off without altering the composition of the substrate.
- HydroBond- This economical dust suppression product locks in dust while letting air and water come through. This is ideal for situations wherein dust is the immediate concern, but revegetation is the longer-term goal.
- RoadBond- This non-corrosive dust suppression solution is designed for unsealed road surfaces.
- FibreLoc- This advanced dust control product can withstand the harshest weather conditions through its interlocking wood fibres that form a flexible, stable crust. It is recommended when polymer solutions aren’t suitable.
If you’re not sure which dust suppression product best suits your needs, it’s important to get in touch with our expert team so we can help you explore your options. Get in touch with us today so we can inspect your site and develop an effective tailored plan to address your dust problem!