Plattsmouth residents await the results of a study into the effects of road dust on their health. No matter what the study tells them, however, Plattsmouth needs a new way to keep dust safely contained.
Concerns over road dust and its potential health effects have hit home for residents of Plattsmouth, Nebraska, as they await results of a qualified environmental study into the health effects of road dust in their county. Following calls from concerned Plattsmouth citizens, the study will establish just how much this dust affects the surrounding environment and the health of people living nearby.
Dust Isn’t Just A Nuisance — It’s A Health Hazard
Tammy Ozel and Chuck and Debbie Korytowski live next to an unpaved road, which is heavily trafficked by large trucks driving to and from the nearby Lyman-Richey quarry, creating a noticeable level of dust. Debbie Korytowski is convinced that this dust is damaging her health, telling News Channel Nebraska, “I think it’s pretty obvious that you can’t have such a high level of dust that you’re inhaling and not come out with some kind of health hazard. Anyone who walks in dust at any point in time realizes that you’re coughing. Your eyes are affected.” Her fears are well founded: the study commissioned by Cass County will undoubtedly add to a substantial body of scientific research on the effects of excess road dust on human health.
According to a literature review published by The World Bank, road dust is known to include harmful PM10 and PM2.5 particulate matter, as well as potentially toxic levels of heavy metals. The review also states that “50 percent of PM10 emissions and 19 percent of PM2.5 emissions are due to road dust” across the U.S. Dust pollution is particularly harmful to the young and elderly, as well as people with existing health conditions — especially respiratory issues like asthma.
To Pave or Not to Pave?
The fact that road dust has a negative impact on human health is beyond doubt. Unfortunately, finding a solution for the plight of Plattsmouth residents may boil down to financial concerns. As Tammy Ozel told Big Apple Radio, “I think there are some members of the board who recognize the problem and can appreciate our concerns about our health, but I also think that the primary issue is the budget and I don’t feel like they are very willing to make any adjustments to that.”
Paving the road in question, as the board is considering as part of its one- and six-year road plans for 2016, is a high-cost approach to the dust problem. Considering the circumstances, the road will likely need to stay unpaved — but there are ways to keep unpaved roads safe.
Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc.’s proven expertise in controlling road dust can provide affordable solutions to this environmental and health issue. EnviroKleen® and EK35®, two of Midwest’s expertly engineered dust control methods, have an impressive track record in aggregate road dust control and maintenance.
Roads treated with EnviroKleen and EK35 present a high friction, skid-resistant surface, with surface aggregate and fines interlocked together to provide long lasting dust control. And unlike salt-based dust prevention methods, which require frequent and costly re-application, these polymeric bonds make roads even stronger in response to traffic pressure.
While road dust can seriously impact health and quality of life, Midwest is ready with well-tested solutions to take control, giving residents dust-free, healthy lives.
(Main image credit: Peter Asquith/flickr)