Center for Safety Equity in Transportation

rural • isolated • tribal • indigenous

Development of a Tabletop Dustfall Column and Test Procedure for Chemical Dust Suppressant Performance Testing

  • Active

    CSET Project #: 1911

    Project Funding: University of Alaska Fairbanks

  • Start Date: September 2019

    End Date: September 2021

    Budget: $69294

Project Summary

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities recently adopted a laboratory test method to evaluate the performance of dust palliatives used on roadways.  The method uses a six foot by eight-inch column through which a sample of treated soil is dropped.  The dust that remains in the column is measured and reported.  In a follow-on effort UAF developed a portable, table-top dust fall column which has shown promise as a replacement for the current column.  The size and simplicity of the new column allows for the column to be used on site to measure the performance of palliatives after placement.  It is anticipated the new test method will have less variability than the current test method.  The purpose of this study is to validate the new column and test method.

Project News

Road dust from unpaved roads is a major air quality concern in many tribal communities. Dust (also called Particulate Matter (PM)) has negative impacts on health, road safety and quality of life. There  is a series of four webinars to help tribal environmental and transportation staff to manage road dust, resulting in improved air quality.

Presenters from US Environmental Protection Agency, University of Alaska, Alaska Department Environmental Conservation, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium and the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals will provide information to help tribal environmental and transportation staff create community partnerships to:

  1. assess current roads,
  2. develop community education messages leading to behavioral changes,
  3. develop plans to improve road design,
  4. consider appropriate use of dust suppressants,
  5. continue with air quality assessments,
  6. create a dust management plan and
  7. identify potential funding sources.


Participants will also be introduced to a variety of online resources to help with planning for road dust management.

  1. Webinar #1 - Introduction to Managing Road Dust 
  2. Webinar #2 - Introduction to Dust Suppressants (palliatives) 
  3. Webinar #3 - Engaging Community Leaders in Road Dust Management
  4. Webinar #4 - Case Studies on Road Dust Management (forthcoming)