Dust and Particulate from Construction Activities
Dust from demolition, construction, and cleanup activities can significantly impact local air quality, posing a health hazard and a nuisance. For that reason, dust mitigation measures are required at most construction sites, and real-time dust monitoring may be required to verify that mitigation measures are effective. Dust Monitoring Datasheet
Air Quality Standards
The EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standard sets limits for concentrations of airborne pollutants that can harm health and cause environmental damage.
Construction dust falls under the standards for particulate matter: PM10 for particles with diameters 10 microns and smaller – typically soil, and PM2.5 for particles with diameters 2.5 microns and smaller – typically exhaust from heavy machinery.
The PM10 limit is 150 micrograms per cubic meter averaged over 24 hours. The PM2.5 limit is 35 micrograms per cubic meter averaged over 24 hours.
Local codes, agencies, and communities set specific regulations, but in general, dust monitoring should follow these practices:
- Dust monitors should be placed in path of the migrating dust, typically at the project fenceline and at critical locations outside the fenceline, such as hospitals and schools.
- Monitoring should be continuous during construction hours at minimum in order to document a 24-hour average. Ideally, windspeed and direction should be monitored as well.
- Monitoring should provide alerts so that prompt action can be taken if limits are exceeded.
- Monitoring should be used to evaluate dust mitigation measures to improve practices or reduce costs. Avoid including fugitive dust from other sites in the evaluation by placing a monitor upwind of the fenceline.
- Monitoring reports should be stored for easy retrieval in case of complaints.
Advantages of Automation
Continuous Sampling: Automated monitoring provides continuous sampling of air quality, typically at multiple locations around the construction site.
Minimal Maintenance: Each monitor operates autonomously, protected by a weatherproof enclosure and powered by solar-charged batteries.
Timely Alerts: Automated systems can send alerts to on-site project managers for prompt action.
Web Access: Air quality status is displayed on a project website and reports are generated at required intervals. Reports and data are archived automatically for easy retrieval.
Cost-Effective Rentals: Multiple dust monitoring systems cost less and provide better coverage than a roving technician with a hand-held dust monitor.
Combination Monitoring: GeoCloud can present data from dust, noise, vibration, and geotechnical measurements all on the same project website.
Dust Monitor Features
GEO-Instruments deploys robust and accurate Aeroqual dust monitors.
All models are capable of measuring PM 10 and smaller particulates. Standard features include:
- Continuous measurement
- Real-time reporting
- Robust, weatherproof design
- User-friendly setup and operation
- On-board, fail-safe data storage
- WIFI and cellular connectivity
- SMS and email alerts
- Solar power
- Cloud connectivity
- Wind measurements
- Full weather station measurements
- Noise measurements
- VOC, Ozone and NO2 measurements
Dust Sentry Pro
- Monitors PM10, PM2.5, PM1, and TSP simultaneously.
- Provides counts for 8 channels; 0.3, 0.5, 0.7, 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, 5.0, 10 microns.
- Monitors PM 10 or PM 2.5 or PM 1.0 or TSP (same as Dust Sentry) or can be configured same as Dust Sentry Pro.
- Monitors up to three gases 03, NO2, VOC.