Tag Archives: airborne dust

Airborne Dust – Particulate Matter

An interesting read found at Geology and Human Health (click the link for the full article).

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“Airborne dust is particle, or Particulate Matter (PM), pollution, and is one of the most significant air pollutants in Pima County. PM is made up of tiny solid particles or liquid droplets (a fraction of the thickness of a human hair) that float in the air we breathe. Because they are so small, you cannot see individual particles, but you can sometimes see the haze that is formed when millions of particles blur the spread of sunlight.

Examples of the types of dust found in the work environment include:

Mineral dusts, such as those containing free crystalline silica (e.g., as quartz), coal and cement dusts;

Metallic dusts, such as lead, cadmium, nickel, and beryllium dusts;

Other chemical dusts, e.g., many bulk chemicals and pesticides:

Organic and vegetable dusts, such as flour, wood, cotton and tea dusts, pollens;

Biohazards, such as viable particles, moulds and spores

Dusts are generated not only by work processes, but may also occur naturally, e.g., pollens, volcanic ashes, and sandstorms.

Sources: Where Does It Come From

Airborne Dust Particles can come from pretty much anywhere, any movement or activity can cause a large amount of excess particles in the air.

Disturbed vacant or open lands

Construction and mining activity

Landscaping maintenance activity

Industrial sources

Fires: fireplace, camp, forest

– Charcoal or wood-burning barbecues – Off-road vehicle activity
– Unpaved and paved roads, parking lots – Diesel exhaust

How Airborne Dust Particles Travel The Earth

Airborne Dust Particles can travel through various sources such as soil being lifted up by weather (an Aeolian process), volcanic eruptions, and pollution. Dust comes from arid and dry regions where high velocity winds are able to remove mostly silt-sized material. This includes ares where grazing, ploughing, vehicle use and other human activities have furthered the destabilized the land. Dust in the atmosphere is produced by saltation and sandblasting of sand-sized grains, and it is transported through the troposphere. The airborne dust is considered an aerosol and once in the atmosphere, it can produce strong local radiative forcing.

Bioavailability

Airborne Dust Particles contaminates the biosphere through inhalation by humans and animals, and can also effect crops growing in an area with large amounts of dust particles. When inhaled, the fibers are deposited in air passages and on lung cells.”

Coal Dust

Coal Dust

Dustmites

Dustmites

Silica

Silica

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Dust Monitoring Equipment – providing equipment, services and training in dust fallout management to the mining industry.