Keeping Dust Under Control

One way to remove dust and other fine particles out of the air is to wash it with rain or an artificial mist. Anyone familiar with smog in a city knows that the air might become cleaner after it rains. Water particles cling to dust and other fine particles in the air and effectively wash them out when water droplets are large enough to fall. Engineers have noticed this too, and they have devised systems for Dust control.


Of course it is impossible to use sprinklers to clean an entire city of smog. The Chinese once concocted such a plan for their urban areas, but never carried it out because of the sheer volumes of water it would involve. It could still be a good idea for a space that experiences regular smoke or dust and that can stand to get wet as apart of a cleaning process.

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The most common environment for vaporized water dust control is factories that process a great deal of trash, sawdust, or metal particles. Moisture is the perfect solution for materials that need to be moist anyway, such as shredded organic waste that is intended to be recycled via composting. For sawdust, wood can stand a little dampness and fine wood dust readily absorbs moisture.


While the most conspicuous systems for dust control are designed for factories and shops, less obvious examples are employed for indoor human spaces as a way of controlling odor and bacteria. While humans do not want to walk through spaces that have an obvious mist, a fine moisturizer can perform multiple jobs at the same time. Think of a spray can that vaporizes a scent. The ingredients include the scent but also water and other substances that bind to both bacteria and odor particles.


Fine mist systems are employed by hospitals that are like professional-scale examples of sanitizing sprays. They inject moisture and sanitizers into the air that helps to bind to all the nasty things that people bring with them into a busy space. This measure is essential to preventing the spread of germs within a hospital, a place where people come to get better.


All of this is possible because water molecules have a natural tendency to cling. Each water molecule is like a small magnet, and this enables water to cling into droplets easily and it is the very reason why water is a liquid at moderate temperatures and pressures rather than a gas. The cohesiveness of water extends to a wide range of particles, and dust in the air actually helps rain to form.


What happens in nature can remove microscopic particles from the air in just about any environment. This can be essential for safely processing trash but also materials being ground such as wood and metal. Wood particles are a serious allergen, and metal dust is very irritating even with a mask and googles. It is a good investment depending on the density of dust in the air. Face protection is not always enough, and misting for dust control also improves visibility across the work floor.