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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Analysis of Laboratory-Generated Dust Suspensions Derived from Soils and Roads

Authors
item Zobeck, Teddy
item Gill, Thomas
item Stout, John
item Zhang, M. - INST. OF DESERT RESEARCH
item Kennedy, Ann
item Gregroy, J. - TEXAS TECH UNIV.

Submitted to: ASAE Annual International Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 10, 1997
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: In 1987 the Federal Government established the National Ambient Air Quality Standards regulating PM-10 as a primary air pollutant. These regulations were continued in the 1990 version of the Clean Air Act. PM-10 refers to very small airborne particulate matter that may be inhaled and cause respiratory problems. During wind erosion, fine particles are often suspended high in the atmosphere to travel great distances. Little is known about the characteristics of these suspended particles. This paper will describe a laboratory method to generate suspended dust from soil and road samples and describe some physical, chemical and biological characteristics of the dust. The dust generation system includes a device to measure the size and amount of airborne dust and collect a sample of the dust on filter paper. We find that soils and roads have different chemical and physical characteristics. This research will be used to help identify the source of airborne dust to more carefully target efforts to reduce the source of dust.

Technical Abstract: In 1987 the Federal Government established the National Ambient Air Quality Standards regulating PM-10 as a primary air pollutant. These regulations were continued in the 1990 version of the Clean Air Act and a proposal to continue their use is currently under consideration. PM-10 refers to airborne particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter smaller than 10 microns. Environmental health studies have indicated that PM-10, including windblown dust, is inhaled deeply enough into the human lower respiratory system to adversely impact human health. During wind erosion, dust particles (called fugitive dust) are often suspended high in the atmosphere to travel great distances. Little is known about the physical, chemical or biological characteristics of these suspended particles. In this paper we describe a method to create and study dust from bulk samples. We created dust by tumbling air-dried soil samples in a dust generating chamber. The airborne dust was passed through a laser particle analyzer to determine the particle size distribution. Samples of airborne PM-10 were also collected on 47 mm diameter filters for further analysis. Soil and dust samples were analyzed for various physical, chemical and biological properties. This paper will describe the dust generation and analysis system; the physical, chemical and biological properties under investigation; and present preliminary results.

Last Modified: 8/1/2014
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