How to Reduce Dust with Dust Palliatives

Excessive dust is both a health and environmental concern. To the individual, prolonged exposure to dust can create asthma like symptoms. To the environment, it can corrupt the overall air quality affecting a larger number of people, plants, and animals overtime.

Yet for as big a nuisance as dust is, it’s also a ubiquitous element of life. If you’ve ever driven down a dirt road before, you’ve probably come to a quick understanding of just how pervasive dust can be.

Indeed, dust is particularly problematic on dirt roads and construction sites where raw earth is frequently being disturbed. But common though this material may be, the public and personal health concerns remain.

Excessive dust is a problem that requires mitigation. The good news is that there are many types of dust control methods using palliatives.

Dust palliatives are used to mitigate the problem of dust clouds to eliminate the impact they have on the environment.

Today we take a sweeping look at vital information pertaining to this important solution.

Types of Dust Palliatives

There are two different types of dust palliatives—moisture increasing palliatives, and particle binding palliatives.

Both approaches perform more or less as their names suggest they would.

Moisture Increasing

The moisture increasing palliative will add moisture to the soil on a dust road or construction site. As a result, the individual particles stick together better, and don’t turn into airborne dust about contact.

This is the simpler, approach that can be as basic as adding water to a site. However, due to the simplicity of the technique, it might also be more temporary.

Particle Binding

Particle binding palliatives are longer lasting, and usually more intricate. Once again, the name describes the approach, the job of a particle binding palliative is to bind dust particles together.

It’s a chemical solution that can be implemented through a wide degree of different options. For example, there are organic options available, such as resins that are generally safe to use.

Organic dust palliatives are prized for having a low impact on the environment. They are usually non-toxic while still being effective and easy to use.

There are also more chemical heavy dust control suppression systems  that will also get the job done, but do run the risk contaminating area and pose harm to plant and wildlife.

Synthetic Solutions

Synthetic palliatives also have their place, however. Synthetic palliatives may in certain cases be better suited to the particulars of a work site. For example, they may be longer lasting, water soluble, or better equipped to withstand extreme temperatures.

With either type of dust palliative, there are multiple solutions available that will ultimately cater to a wide range of users.

Using compressed air oriented misting systems, dust palliatives can be quickly applied to a road or work area with relatively low amounts of preparation, making it a quick, stress free solution to the problem of airborne dust contaminants. There are also fog systems that can be used to remove dust particles.

Selecting the right approach for a given project is a highly individualized process that will require taking into consideration the specifics of the site. However, given the range of options that are available, there are products out there suited to every circumstance.

What’s the Best Dust Palliative?

As the need for dust palliatives becomes increasingly obvious for the purposes of your dirt road or worksite, it then becomes a matter of deciding which option suits your needs.

Best case scenario, you will be able to consider a natural, organic solution to your dust particle problem. The non-toxic approach, when possible, will ensure a low environmental impact, and an all around safe work area for humans, animals, and plants.

There are lots of different organic solutions to consider. Too many, in fact, to enumerate all of them here.

That said, here are a few organic options that might be appropriate for your property.


Magnesium chloride is considered one of the easiest and most cost effective methods of dust suppression.

Essentially, this substance works to capture the moisture already in the air, and use it to bind dirt together.

Magnesium Chloride works best in cooler, damp environments. Because it works with moisture that is already in the air, it won’t be as effective in hot dry climates.


Lignin is an organic approach usually used in areas that have lots of people walking in and out. For instance, you might use lignin in the parking lot of a business.

This material is naturally found in wood and works a little like glue, binding dust particles together as a surface dries, thus preventing it from forming clouds.

Lignin is often used to great success on clay like soil.


Last, we look at tall oil pitch. This palliative is organic, water soluble, and it poses no risk to water supplies.

Tall oil pitch is actually a paper processing by-product. All natural and completely safe, T.O.P is water soluble, non-combustible, and prized for its binding properties, and perhaps especially for its ability to work well in a variety of environments.

Main Takeaways

As you consider your dirt road or construction site, the matter of dust palliatives is rather straightforward. It’s not a matter of deciding if you need it, but which one to use.

Dust palliatives are an easy, affordable solution to your dust problem, and because of the diversity of options, most people won’t have a problem finding exactly what they are looking for.

The right dust palliative will ensure your property is a healthier place to be, making it an invaluable investment.

Get In Touch With Us

When looking to solve your dust problem, it helps to have the right people in your corner. Choosing the right palliative is only half the battle. You also need a reputable professional group to apply it for you.

That is why it is a good idea to choose a company as experienced as Norcal AG for your dust mitigation needs.

Contact us for a free quote and some guidance that will help solve your dust problem.

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