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Good Parking Lot Sweeping Controls Dust, A Serious Pollutant

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Good Parking Lot Sweeping Controls Dust, A Serious Pollutant

The suppression and control of dust in parking lots is best managed by a professional parking lot sweeping service. According to a report furnished by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the main cause of air pollution is dust, typically carried by the wind, which comes from roads or from construction activities or from activity in parking lots, even during cleaning or sweeping processes.

In addition, of course, dust particles also originate from agricultural, mining, construction, and manufacturing actions, and all are carefully monitored by environmental agencies.

Sweeping Standards Must Be Maintained

According to the EPA, a professional parking lot sweeping services must strictly maintain a maximum of PM-10 emissions as the standard for sweeping and material removal to ensure low pollution. PM-10 is particulate matter with a diameter of 10 microns or less. Any reliable parking lot sweeping services provider is certified PM-10.

This standard applies not only to parking lot sweeping, but also to street sweeping, which must follow these same guidelines. In fact, since 2005, all government agencies have been mandated to contract the services of PM-10 certified sweepers only.

PM-10 certified vacuum sweepers prove to be very useful especially in picking up fine debris. On the other hand, machine-driven or mechanical broom models are most likely the favored choice when there is a wide variety of debris made up of varying sizes and materials, especially when there are large amounts of it. Machine-driven or mechanical brooms are built to handle big jobs.

The choice of sweeper will be dictated by the amount and type of debris that is commonly found in the parking lot, and it also must be effective in controlling dust emissions.

Health Hazards Increase With Ineffective Parking Lot Sweeping

Traditional parking lot sweeping tends to create large amounts of fugitive dust, which is a new term for a very old problem. It is the term now applied to the small air-born particles that can escape normal sweeping activities. These particles can trigger serious health problems:

• irritation to the eyes, nose, and throat

• respiratory problems, producing coughing and chest tightness

• increased severity of asthma, emphysema, and bronchitis

Children and older adults as well as people with chronic lung or heart problems are most at risk.

As well, fugitive dust production highlights the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of the entire cleaning process. Dust is a by-product of ineffective cleaning, whereby matter is stirred up by mechanical, agitating devices, such as inappropriate sweepers, which produce turbulent air blown out into the atmosphere carrying dust particles with it. The dust, including minute particles or fugitive dust, settles on nearby surfaces, is carried long distances by the wind, and is inhaled deeply into the lungs of anyone breathing the polluted air.

In order to properly clean a parking lot while controlling the production of fugitive dust, all pickup sweepers for parking lots should have systems and processes to ensure a thorough cleanup with PM-10 emission controls in place.

Parking lot sweeping is all about doing the job right while protecting public health and the environment.

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