Why is dust control important?

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Why is dust control important?

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When an access road is constructed there are often many issues and consequencesassociated with dust if pre-treatment is not properly administered. Considering that there are more than two million miles of unpaved roads in the U.S. and more than 600,000 km in Canada, efforts to control road dust are national and international in scope.

Driver Safety & Vehicle Maintenance

Dust emissions from unpaved roads can impair the vision of drivers and therefore, be a safety hazard. Road users also face the prospect of loose gravel causing cracked windshields, chipped paint and/or broken headlights.

In addition, dust clogs filters, erodes seals, and forms an abrasive grit between moving parts. The harsh vibration caused by washboards and the impact of potholes harms steering systems, tires and rims, while loosening other components and contributing to long-term vehicle wear and tear

Road Upkeep & Maintenance Costs

From a road agency perspective, the loss of fine particles from unpaved roads can also reduce surface longevity and increase maintenance costs. Once the fine material is lost, the load-bearing aggregate will soon follow. Loss of fines and aggregate results in ruts, potholes and washboards that require costly spot repairs and frequent blading to keep the road in acceptable condition.

Health Concerns

Inhaling fine dust particles can be a health hazard to road users and residents. Respiratory problems resulting from the thousands of particulates that fill the air in the aftermath of unpaved road traffic has become an important health concern. Although wind erosion and various types of construction activities generate dust in the lower atmosphere, road dust causes a concentration of air pollution that can directly affect people who live within close proximity to an unpaved roadway.

Some health experts even believe that chronic bronchitis and irregular heartbeat can result from exposure to particle pollution, and premature death is possible if individuals already suffer from lung or heart disease.

Environmental Implications

The effect of road dust on natural scenery and fresh air is unmistakable. But dust is also a harmful pollutant in ways that are less obvious. Dust from roadways and from road maintenance operations can drift or wash into streams and other waterways, increasing sediment and possibly harming aquatic plants and animals. Airborne dust also coats crops and vegetation near unpaved roads, stunting their growth.

What is the Best Solution?

Considering the problems road dust creates, identifying and implementing effective solutions should be a high priority for road officials.

Fortunately, there is an easy, efficient and cost-effective solution to control the problem of road dust regardless of the type of surface involved through pre-treating the road’s soil with an effective dust suppressant.

RoadPacker’s RoadBond product is both a binding agent and ionic soil stabilizer that reacts with the surface of clay particles to modify the clay and reduce its susceptibility to water.​ This solution is an environmentally friendly, high-grade Calcium Lignosulfante-based liquid concentrate that mixes in water for ease of application and is effective regardless of soil type or pH level.

RoadBond has been refined to maximize its natural ability to bind fine surface particles with the coarse road material providing a significant, long-lasting reduction in surface dust.​

RoadBond can be used as a surface spray or it can be milled into the top two inches of the soil and compacted to provide both dust control and surface stabilization. This product comes as a concentrate that can be mixed at different ratios to suit a project’s dust control needs.

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