For non-experts, the terminology surrounding dust control can get confusing. Two terms that are the subject of frequent confusion since it is easy to find content that uses the terms interchangeably. The truth is that dust containment and dust abatement are two different, if related, topics.
Dust containment is an essential part of maintaining clean air, especially in high-risk environments like hospitals, data centers, and other places where dust and debris can cause serious problems. Dust containment regulations operate on a small scale, meaning containment systems and their filters have to be constructed to catch molecules that are so small, the human eye cannot even see them.
Dust Containment Tools
Dust containment tools must be sealed from outside influence and as such require a few different pieces to work effectively. For instance, a portable dust containment unit like a HEPACART™ may include not only a sealed enclosure, but a negative air machine to ensure that no outside air can enter the unit, as well as HEPA or ULPA filtration in order to filter and clean any air before it is expelled from the containment unit. This type of precision is required of any dust containment tool. But dust containment is not limited to these types of portable units. For larger areas, an anteroom that attaches to the entrance of a room that needs to be contained can be useful. A negative air machine, HEPA filtration system, and even proper clothing can all be considered within the pantheon of dust containment tools.
Dust abatement exists on a much larger scale and is not reserved for particularly sensitive environments. Dust abatement is also frequently referred to as dust control. Rather, dust abatement is a concern for large construction projects, arid climates, demolition sites, and even helicopter landing areas. It is the process of controlling the dust that can be stirred up and into the air in many different scenarios, leading to health problems, negative environmental impact, and even impeding visibility. In order to lessen the impact of dust in these situations, dust abatement methods may include:
- spraying water onto loose dirt in a construction site
- paving or applying magnesium chloride to dirt roads
- restricting access to dusty area or dirt roads
- the use of different oils to control dust
Some people will also use dust abatement as a term to refer to containing the dust created by something like refinishing wood flooring.
Dust Abatement Tools
Dust abatement tools vary and can be as simple as a hose for smaller projects. However, larger projects may necessitate more sophisticated dust control methods, including trucks for proper application of water or oil to dusty roads or paving equipment.
While dust containment and dust abatement certainly exist in the same realm of keeping surrounding environments safe and clean during construction or other potentially hazardous projects, they are different things. Learning the right containment terminology can helpful when it comes to choosing the right tools and ensuring that all regulations are met.