Reducing Dust Emissions Improves Quality of Life in Remote Alaskan Villages

Reducing Dust Emissions Improves Quality of Life in Remote Alaskan Villages

In Dust Control, EK35®, Environment by John Burnett

Dust control can very quickly improve residential life in rural areas, including remote Alaskan villages.

When Midwest’s chemist and environmental specialist Cheryl Detloff attended the Annual Alaska Tribal Conference, what she discovered was a widespread concern among Native Alaskan communities regarding the negative effects of dust.

Like with any community where dry weather and unpaved roads create airborne dust, the emissions can have a devastating impact on remote Alaskan villages. It can contribute to respiratory illness, interfere with the critical processes of drying and preserving fish, and harm plant and aquatic life. Thus, dust control can be a great boon to these Native Alaskan villages, as Detloff found in her conversations with members of a range of tribes.

Are Chemical Suppressants Safe?

Because chemical dust suppressants are so often associated with heavy industry, it’s not unreasonable to be concerned about the safety of such products in residential settings. Many Native Alaskans live near unpaved roads, so treating them with chemical dust suppressants would mean children, pets, and families inevitably come into contact with the treated surface.

However, residents don’t actually need to worry about the safety of dust control products, provided the products they use are safely designed. Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. rigorously tests each of our products and solutions to meet the standards of any regulatory body that oversees a client’s worksite. We have firsthand experience using our products in residential environments and have ensured the health and safety of people, animals, and plant life. Detloff explains that she herself had used Soil-Sement® on her unpaved driveway, where her children and pets often play.

Don’t Just Use Your Product — Know It!

Other, non-chemical forms of dust control can come with a whole host of complications. Some Alaskans told us that they purchased large bags of salt to use for dust control, then stored them in a room with important archival documents. Cold temperatures caused the bags burst, and the salt spilled out onto these important records, badly damaging them.

Since there wasn’t a vendor to train them on how to safely handle the material, these Alaskans were unsure of how to go about rectifying this issue, fearing that the salt might have been dangerous to touch or inhale. This is an example of how critical it is that dust control solutions — chemical or otherwise — be applied with the type of expertise offered by Midwest.

Dust Control Education Matters

Midwest has worked for decades to bring high-quality, safe, and affordable dust control to all industries and locales. We work with each customer to develop a customized program that is a perfect fit for their needs. Not only that, but we educate our customers on what specifically will be done to control dust emissions and what kind of results they can expect. This prevents the kind of confusion or misinformation that has made dust control more difficult for the Native Alaskans we spoke with — and who rely so heavily on their unpaved roads and runways.

While we focus on selling comprehensive dust control programs, we’re also proud to offer our range of chemical dust control products as turnkey solutions. Environmentally-friendly and certified by countless independent agencies, including the EPA Environmental Verification Program, synthetic options like EK35® and EnviroKleen® are durable, weather-resistant, and long-lasting. This reduces the need for frequent reapplication, saving valuable time and money.

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