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What are the health and environmental effects of dust emissions?

We’re always told it’s vital for industries to control dust emissions due to the health and environmental effects of pollution. But what exactly are the consequences of uncontrolled airborne dust?

Effects on health

Dust from industrial processes has been linked to the following health issues:

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation, leading to coughing or difficulty breathing
  • Decreased lung function
  • Asthma, and aggravation of the condition
  • Development of chronic bronchitis
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Non-fatal heart attacks
  • Premature death in people with heart or lung disease
  • Inhalation of carcinogenic compounds (substances known to cause cancer).

Those most vulnerable to adverse health effects from dust are the elderly, the very young and those suffering from existing heart and lung conditions. However, even people with no underlying health issues can suffer temporary symptoms from exposure.

Effects on the environment

Dust deposited on cars, windows and property can look unsightly and also causes annoyance to residents and business owners. But there are much more serious consequences of airborne dust particles:

  • Pollution of plants including blockage and damage to stomata plus shading and abrasion of leaf surfaces and cuticles
  • Acidification of water bodies such as lakes and rivers, placing insects and fish at risk
  • Nutrient concentrations in coastal waters and large river basins can become imbalanced and affect inhabitants
  • Dust deposited on the ground can alter soil chemistry, leading to changes in plant chemistry
  • Depletion of nutrients in soil can affect the diversity of ecosystems.

It’s clear that the effects of dust emissions are potentially very serious, which is why those in charge of sites such as landfills, quarries and foundries are under pressure to control airborne particles.

On sites where dust emissions are an issue, the Gibbons mobile atomiser offers an effective portable solution which is fully self-sufficient as it has its own water and power supply. The low-maintenance device disperses a fine mist over a wide area to instantly suppress dust, offering protection to the local area and its inhabitants.

If you’d like to learn more about this efficient and convenient dust suppression device, call Matthew Gibbons on 01621 868138 or email


  • Date: 13 May 2014 hillary spicer
    viruses & bacteria such as influenza, colds, mrsa, c.diff can also be transported on dust and inhaled by humans via ventilation & HVAC systems
  • Date: 13 May 2014 Andrew Knight
    Thanks for the comment from our friends at E-CO.

    As we know, outside air quality has a direct effect on indoor air quality. Sure, good filtration can help with this and a carefully-managed filter-change regime using quality products is one way of improving indoor air quality. In cities and towns, air handling units are pulling in 'fresh' air. Even with the best maintenance procedures, it’s nearly impossible to remove all the pollutants and certainly very difficult to remove airborne bacteria and viruses. As the comment suggests, HVAC systems can be a breeding ground for germs and bacteria, particularly on the 'wet' sections such as the cooling coil.

    As well as offering ongoing maintenance and monitoring packages, Gibbons have been working with the UK's top provider of UVC light systems, aiming to give our clients' HVAC systems another layer of defence against poor indoor air quality. This can dramatically improve indoor air quality with a very low capital outlay. Once the cooling coil is operating more efficiently, running costs reduce and payback periods can be as low as one year. With a reduction in airborne germs and bacteria, staff absenteeism should shrink and overall indoor air quality can improve. If you want any more information or wish to trial the system just give us a call!

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