Updated construction dust guidance launched

Institute of Air Quality Management launches new guidance on assessing dust emissions from demolition and construction

New guidance on assessing dust emissions from demolition and construction sites has been launched by the Institute of Air Quality Management (IAQM).

Published yesterday (February 4), the Construction Dust Guidance is designed to provide assistance to developers, their consultants and environmental health practitioners on how to undertake a construction impact assessment (including demolition and earthworks).

The IAQM published the updated Construction Dust Guidance this week (February 4)

The IAQM published the updated Construction Dust Guidance this week (February 4)

Dust from construction sites can give rise to annoyance due to the soiling of surfaces by dust and increase long-term particulate matter PM10 concentrations, according to the IAQM.

As a result, local planning authorities often require the air quality impacts of new developments to be assessed as part of the decision making process.

The impacts of dust depend on the mitigation measures adopted, IAQM said, and the emphasis in this document is therefore on classifying the risk of dust impacts from a site, which will then allow appropriate mitigation measures to be identified.

Chair of the working group which prepared the guidance, Dr Claire Holman, commented: “The potential for construction dust is often given scant consideration in the planning process, yet it can increase particulate matter in the air causing health effects as well as annoying the local community.

“There is no excuse. Demolition and construction dust can be well controlled using established methods. This guidance is important because it provides a method for assessing the risk and determining the appropriate mitigation measures that should be used.”

The document, which according to IAQM is a ‘substantial’ rewrite of previous guidance published in 2011, is available on the Institute’s website (opens as a PDF).

The IAQM is a membership organisation that represents professionals in air quality, which aims to maintain, enhance and promote high standards of working practices in the area.


In October 2013, London Mayor Boris Johnson launched a consultation on draft guidance for limiting dust emissions from construction sites in the capital, which focuses on tackling PM2.5, PM10 and nitrogen dioxide (see story).

Plans for the draft guidance for London were first revealed by the Mayor as part of a raft of air quality measures in February 2013, which also included plans for a low emission zone for construction machinery in the capital (see story).


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