What is Dust Abatement? How Snow Contractors Are Getting Into the Dust Business

Dust Abatement - dusty construction site

Believe it or not, dust abatement has become a hot topic in the snow removal industry. It doesn’t take much imagination to envision how it makes good financial sense to use ice melt products and ice management equipment ALL YEAR LONG by adding dust abatement services for your clients.

In addressing the challenge of dust control, calcium chloride and magnesium chloride emerge as noteworthy solutions deserving of careful consideration. Beyond their recognized efficacy in ice melt applications, these chemical compounds prove to be exceptional in suppressing dust on unpaved roads, construction sites, and various industrial environments. In this comprehensive guide, we aim to elucidate the mechanisms by which calcium chloride and magnesium chloride function as dust suppressants, delve into the associated costs, recommend application rates, and elucidate the manifold benefits they bring to diverse settings.

Dust Abatement Explained

Dust abatement refers to the process of controlling and reducing the generation and dispersion of dust particles in various environments, such as construction sites, unpaved roads, and industrial facilities. The goal of dust abatement is to minimize the negative impacts associated with airborne dust, which can include compromised air quality, diminished visibility, and potential health risks for workers and the surrounding community.

Various methods and substances can be employed for dust abatement, with the primary aim of preventing dust particles from becoming airborne. Traditional methods often involve the use of water, but this comes with limitations such as rapid evaporation, soil compaction, and the need for frequent reapplication.

Modern dust abatement solutions often utilize specialized substances, such as calcium chloride and magnesium chloride. These hygroscopic chemicals can attract and retain moisture from the surrounding air. When applied to dusty surfaces, they form a solution that binds dust particles together, preventing their dispersion.

The benefits of dust abatement include improved air quality, enhanced visibility, soil preservation, and increased safety. By addressing dust-related challenges, dust abatement contributes to creating healthier and safer environments for both workers and the broader community. The effectiveness of dust abatement measures is influenced by factors such as the severity of the dust issue, soil type, weather conditions, and the specific products used.

Dust Abatement Options

Understanding the Challenge: Dust abatement often perceived as a mere inconvenience, carries significant consequences across diverse environments. Whether encountered in a construction setting, an industrial facility, or along rural roads, airborne dust particles pose threats to air quality, visibility, and the well-being of both workers and the surrounding community.

The Role of Dust Suppressants: Dust suppressants play an indispensable role in mitigating these challenges. These substances are applied to surfaces prone to dust generation, mitigating its impact. While water traditionally serves as a dust suppressant, it possesses inherent limitations such as rapid evaporation, soil compaction, and the need for frequent reapplication.

Herein lies the efficacy of calcium chloride and magnesium chloride, which exhibit remarkable effectiveness as sustainable alternatives. We shall elucidate the operational mechanisms of these chemicals, expound upon their growing popularity as preferred choices for dust abatement, and explore the nuances of their applications.

Why Use Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride for Dust Abatement?

  1. Hygroscopic Properties:
    • The efficacy of calcium chloride (CaCl₂) and magnesium chloride (MgCl₂) stems from their hygroscopic nature, which enables them to attract and retain moisture from the ambient air.
    • Application to dusty surfaces results in the formation of a solution that agglomerates dust particles, preventing their airborne dispersion.
  2. Long-Lasting Moisture Retention:
    • Distinguishing themselves from water, which rapidly evaporates under dry conditions, calcium chloride and magnesium chloride exhibit prolonged moisture retention capabilities.
    • This characteristic translates to less frequent reapplications, rendering them cost-effective and efficient solutions for dust suppression.

Cost Estimation for Dust Abatement

A critical aspect of budgetary planning involves comprehending the cost implications of utilizing calcium chloride or magnesium chloride for dust abatement. Various factors contribute to the overall cost, including the treated area’s size, the severity of the dust issue, and the unit cost of the chosen chemical.

Calculation Formula: To estimate the total cost of dust abatement, the following formula proves instrumental:

Total Cost = Area to be Treated (in square feet) x Application Rate (in gallons per square foot) x Cost per Gallon of Dust Suppressant

Recommended Application Rates for Dust Abatement

Determining the appropriate application rate is pivotal for achieving effective dust abatement. The rate is contingent upon factors such as the severity of the dust problem, soil type, prevailing weather conditions, and the specific product employed. General guidelines are provided for varying dust intensities:

  • Low Dust Areas: 0.05 to 0.10 gallons per square foot.
  • Moderate Dust Areas: 0.10 to 0.20 gallons per square foot.
  • High Dust Areas: 0.20 to 0.30 gallons per square foot or higher, as necessitated.

It is imperative to conduct site-specific evaluations to ascertain the precise application rate required for optimal results.

Dust Abatement Cost Comparison

Calcium Chloride vs. Magnesium Chloride: While the cost of calcium chloride may exhibit marginal variability in comparison to magnesium chloride, the former is acknowledged for its superior dust control capabilities and prolonged efficacy. A hypothetical cost scenario is presented for illustrative purposes:

  • Calcium Chloride: $2.50 per gallon on average.
  • Magnesium Chloride: $2.00 per gallon on average.
    • Assuming an application rate of 0.15 gallons per square foot for a 10,000-square-foot area:
    • Calcium Chloride Cost: Approximately $3,750.
    • Magnesium Chloride Cost: Approximately $3,000.

Benefits of Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride for Dust Abatement Beyond the realm of cost savings, investing in calcium chloride and magnesium chloride for dust abatement yields a myriad of advantages:

  1. Enhanced Air Quality:
    • By preventing the dispersion of dust particles, these dust suppressants contribute to improved air quality in treated areas, benefiting both workers and local communities.
  2. Augmented Visibility:
    • Reduced dust levels translate to improved visibility, fostering heightened safety across construction sites, roads, and industrial facilities.
  3. Soil Preservation:
    • In contrast to water, which may lead to soil compaction and erosion, calcium chloride and magnesium chloride enhance soil structure and act as preventative measures against erosion.
  4. Longevity:
    • Exhibiting extended moisture retention, these chemicals necessitate less frequent reapplication, resulting in reduced maintenance costs over time.
  5. Environmental Considerations:
    • Calcium chloride and magnesium chloride demonstrate a more environmentally friendly profile compared to some traditional dust control methods, mitigating water consumption and minimizing soil damage.
  6. Versatility:
    • These dust suppressants showcase effectiveness across diverse surfaces, including unpaved roads, construction sites, and industrial yards, underscoring their versatile applicability.

Harnessing the Potential of Calcium Chloride and Magnesium Chloride for Effective Dust Abatement In the domain of dust abatement, calcium chloride and magnesium chloride emerge as versatile, cost-effective, and environmentally conscious solutions. Their hygroscopic attributes and protracted moisture retention render them standout choices for curtailing dust-related challenges. A nuanced understanding of the cost implications and the determination of appropriate application rates are pivotal for optimizing their effectiveness while adhering to budgetary constraints.

When judiciously employed, calcium chloride and magnesium chloride not only address dust-related concerns but also contribute to the advancement of air quality, safety, and soil preservation. These chemical solutions represent the preferred options for those seeking comprehensive dust abatement strategies that mutually benefit individuals and the environment. Consider leveraging the prowess of these remarkable chemicals to control dust effectively and establish healthier, safer spaces.

For those interested in procuring calcium chloride or magnesium chloride for dust abatement or capitalizing on their benefits in snow and ice melting, SISCU is at your service. Operating 24/7, we offer convenient pickup options and nationwide delivery of these products, and more. Feel free to reach out for pricing details and additional information.