“It was as if someone had decided to recreate a scene from a dystopian film on our very streets. And this was not a guest appearance, the act went on and on and this is just the beginning.”

Dust on Your Coffee Table?

As I gazed out my window, what drifted indoors appeared not just as ordinary construction dust but as remnants from a series of small explosions.

It’s one thing to be notified of a construction project, quite another to be taken by surprise by its unexpected repercussions.

For those of us who call Arlington home, this dust drama is more than just an aesthetic inconvenience. It’s a question of health, quality of life, and the often-overlooked importance of being in the know.

Construction dust can be carried by wind currents and may find its way indoors through small openings like gaps around windows, doors, or in high-rises through the shared ventilation. Even if the filters are changed regularly, the air quality is continuously compromised by the on-going construction work and we are exposed to whatever particulates are in the dust, including silica and/or asbestos.

Air vents and HVAC filters

This much dust in just 30 days.

Are you inhaling this?


Since air is only filtered at specific intake points in the ventilation system, we are exposed to unfiltered air containing toxic particulates with possibly Silica and/or Asbestos) before it is drawn into and cleansed by the system.

Now, I understand that the complex bureaucracy of urban development. However, while the county’s website keeps us updated on movements of the construction, it sometimes misses the unexpected solos, like the dust clouds that seem to want an extended curtain call. These solos force us to change our daily plans, or use another exit door from our homes, and sometimes even our outfits.

Shouldn’t there be a mechanism in place to inform residents about situations that could directly impact their health and well-being?

On one hand, there’s a genuine interest in development and progress, but on the other, there appears to be an oversight or negligence concerning the immediate well-being of its residents.

A suggestion was made to the county back in July 2023 to establish a channel for residents that will provide precise details about ongoing projects, air quality, noise regulations, and health risks.
The exploration of this idea is not merely an exercise in urban planning but a deep dive into the heart of community cohesion and trust. The stakes here are monumental, reaching beyond the concrete and steel of a burgeoning city. They touch upon the very essence of what it means to live in a society that values engagement, mutual respect, and a shared sense of responsibility.

And here lies the crux of the matter, the lack of proactive communication.