With strong connections to industry and academia DustScanAQ are leaders in dust assessment. Dust assessment is a specialist sector of air quality consultancy and deals directly with ‘disamenity’ or ‘nuisance’ dust, which is associated with annoyance rather than specific, fine fractions of dust such as PM10.
Dust assessments are sometimes carried out as part of a planning application, with the question: ‘will this development generate unacceptable levels of dust?’ At other times a dust assessment is more of a forensic investigation: ‘whose dust is it, what’s in it and why?’ At DustScanAQ, we specialise in both.
A forensic approach to dust assessment
As part of the planning process, there is no formal procedure for dust assessment; indeed and as a result our experts have recently contributed to the production of guidance for mineral planning, brought out by the Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM) and others. From an investigative perspective, we take a forensic approach: through our connections with the University of Portsmouth several of our team have contributed to work published by the International Network of Environmental Forensics (INEF).
As a specialist procedure, dust assessment calls for an understanding of material processes (how dust is generated in the natural world and by human activities) and of environmental factors (how dust propagates; the effects of wind and rain etc. Human perception, the ‘sensitivity’ of human ‘receptors’ to visible dust, is also important.
Consequently, a generic approach to dust assessment is rarely appropriate. Each dust assessment is different and we always take a site-specific approach to each to ensure that it is appropriate to clients’ requirements.