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Dust Monitoring

What is dust?

Dust particles can be different materials that are airborne and can impact air quality.

Dust can be generated from a variety of sources including unsealed roads, quarrying or industry. Some dust can occur from natural sources.

EPA Victoria is responsible for monitoring dust sourced from industry.

How does it impact on the health and wellbeing of the community?

The most common form of dust is particulate matter (PM) PM10, defined as the mass of particles smaller than 10 micrometres (0.01 mm) in a cubic metre.

PM10 particles are small enough to impact human health as these dust particles, when breathed in, can make their way to the lungs.

Certain people may be more sensitive to dust including children, the elderly and people with respiratory or cardiovascular disease. Healthy people may also experience temporary symptoms including irritation of the eyes, nose and throat; coughing; phlegm; chest tightness; and shortness of breath.

How is dust monitored?

As part of EPA Victoria’s air monitoring programs, 11 air-monitoring stations are set up across Victoria to give a general status of air quality for the region. Monitoring with portable instruments can also be undertaken were pollution levels are high. Air monitoring instruments measure the concentration of dust in the air at several intervals during the day and are undertaken over several months to gain a comprehensive understanding of dust levels.

The readings are then compared to the National Environment Protection (Air Quality) Measure (‘the Air NEPM’) standards to understand the impact of dust on human health.

What can be down about dust issues?

Dust pollution can be reported by community members by calling EPA Victoria’s pollution hotline on 1300 EPA VIC (1300 372 842).

Further information can be found in the Reporting Pollution section of this website.

EPA Victoria also plays an active role in working with industry including landfill operators to reduce environmental impacts. EPA Victoria helps industry go above and beyond legislated requirements to encourage best practice.

EPA Victoria is working with landfill operators in the Clayton and Dingley area to reduce dust issues.

Further information about dust monitoring can be found on EPA Victoria’s website (NEED TO INSERT – KG do you have any links)