Dust Assessment

Dust can be generated by a wide variety of activities, including demolition/construction, minerals extraction and waste management.  Dust emissions can cause a nuisance where there is deposition onto surfaces, causing noticeable fouling.  This can lead to complaints from the public to the local authority or regulator. Dust emissions can also have an effect on vegetation, and will need to be considered when dust generating activities take place close to sensitive habitats.  The fine fraction of dust (PM10) can also travel deep into the lungs, and have a detrimental effect on the health of people exposed to it.

Construction Dust Assessment

Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) that supports the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that dust can also be a planning concern, for example, because of the effect on local amenity. Construction dust assessments are undertaken following the the Institute of Air Quality Management’s (IAQM) Guidance on the Assessment of Dust from Demolition and Construction.  The guidance divides activities on construction sites into four main types: demolition, earthworks, construction and trackout.  The methodology is based on a sequence of steps.  Step 1 screens the requirement for more detailed assessment; if there are no receptors within 350 m of the site boundary, or within 50 m of roads used by construction vehicles, then there is no need for further assessment.  Step 2 assesses the risk of dust impacts from each of the four activities, considering the scale and magnitude of the works, and the sensitivity of the area.  Step 3 determines site-specific mitigation for each of the four activities.  Step 4 determines whether significant effects are likely; however, with appropriate mitigation in place, the residual effect will normally be ‘not significant’.

Air Quality Assessments Ltd conduct qualitative or semi-quantitative assessments of the likelihood of dust annoyance, and can plan and facilitate dust monitoring surveys where it is considered a dust nuisance, or a health impact from PM10, may occur.  Atmospheric dispersion modelling can also be used to determine whether there is a risk of health effects due to dust emissions. Contact us to find out more about our services relating to fugitive dust assessment.