Observations from the Worksite: The Rise of DGCool™, the Industry’s First Cold Climate Polymer Solution

Conversation with D&T Landscaping & Irrigation President Dave Olson

D&T Landscaping & Irrigation have been serving their community in Minnesota since 1980.  That’s 40 years of service with a continued value proposition to improve and foster top tiered solutions for all their customers’ unique needs.

One such customer/vertical they’ve long served exists in the mining industry. A reoccurring challenge D&T has been faced with is in utilizing a dust suppressant solution that keeps potential environmentally harmful fugitive dust particles onsite rather than floating around in the air. The challenge is further heightened by the fact that the different experiences Minnesota is faced with from naturally occurring seasonal shifts had compromised past remedial attempts. D&T utilized an assortment of polymer based products as a potential solution (as opposed to their typical mode of attack – hay) from several different companies over the years. Finally, three years ago they came in to contact with Global Environmental Solutions who have worked closely with D&T owner/president, Dave Olson, to create an exact solution to their working problem(s). This relationship led to GES developing their latest product offering, DGCool™.

Keep reading to learn more about the challenge, the approach, the solution, and the overall experience with GES and DGCool™:

How’d you learn about Global Environmental Solutions and their DirtGlue® line of products?

Dave Olson: Well, what we do is we provide dust suppression services for the steel and tackamine mines over here in Minnesota. We’ve historically used hay to suppress the dust permeating from the mines. The Challenge with that is these conditions. These tailings basins that we work in are wet. Getting a piece of equipment down there is extremely challenging so we started exploring using polymers as a potential way to hold the dust down until we could get other equipment out there to cover it up.

We tried probably six different products to accomplish this from five different companies and GES or DirtGlue® was the only company that was willing to reformulate their product to best serve our unique conditions. Up to that point we had no products, no polymer based products that were holding the dust down on our tailings basin.

DGCool™ came out of that effort to kind of redesign the product to hold in colder temperatures. When we’re transitioning from fall into winter and then again from winter to spring, we go through a frost / freeze process where the tailings freeze generally at night, warm up, moisture draws out and then we’re kind of okay for the day. But once it starts to freeze, it’s a really fine product, the moisture evaporates and any wind that picks up from below wipes it out. That’s an issue because in these mines, the dust is considered fugitive dust, which is not ideal. Obviously, our goal is to keep that dust in place.

How long have you been working with GES?

Olson: We had tried a bunch of polymers from a number of companies because by-and-large the marketing shtick is everyone claims to have the solution you/we need. When we solicited the help of GES three years ago we started by using two of their products, DirtGlue® and DustLess®. A lot of polymers act similarly, but there are certain elements to each that are proprietary, which is why we tried two different products and the products of other vendors. We wanted to see what would work best for our challenges.

Two years ago we tried a large 100-acre deployment of GES’s DirtGlue® product and it did not withstand the frost / freeze process. It would freeze and peel off and didn’t solve the problem. So I went back to Chris (Rider) and explained what was happening – what we were hoping for – and that’s when he started reformulating the recipe based off of tailings samples we sent at his request. This was the beginning of what would become their DGCool™ solution.

How did GES work with you to outfit you with the best possible solution for your unique challenge? What can you say about the working relationship between all involved?

Olson: What I like about Chris and GES is he’s continually taking a proactive approach and even still asks for tailings samples so the company can work to improve upon what we’ve put to action. They don’t simply rest on what they’ve delivered and move on – they stay actively engaged and strive to maintain advanced improvement.

They were the only company that came back and asked how it went. “How did it go? What were your application rates?” Of all the other companies, they’re the only one that called back. We’re not in this for a one-time sale, we’re looking to solve a problem, so that gets me enthused about the working relationship…

You worked with GES to help facilitate a working test example of the effectiveness of their new DGCool™ product. Tell us about the application. What can you say about the product? How did it help you accomplish what you were looking to achieve?

Olson: It held until we got snow, which is good. Once we get snow there is no dust problem until spring (for obvious reasons). So we’ll know exactly what we’re dealing with when the snow melts and water starts to runoff as it does in spring. If the product is still there, we’ve done it.

We have the product at two sites, a 100-acre site and a 5-acre one. They both held until we got the snow on the ground, which is encouraging. It’s definitely much better than what it was. Prior to this year we tried a different deployment method which was application via helicopter. The first year we used a bucket with large spray nozzles. The helicopter company came up with a different solution – it wasn’t a spray nozzle but more of a rotating spin, gravity feed out, which was a much better solution. So the combination of the product and the delivery method is how we’ve gotten to where we are this year.

Would you recommend GES and their products to people in your industry?

Olson: Yes and no (laughs). Yes because they offer exemplary service and work with the customer to tweak their product to match exactly what the customer needs. This can’t be understated. I jokingly say “no” because in our case I feel like we’re on the cusp of a pretty proprietary solution and application set that separates what we’re doing in the market. But I think as far as what we know as of right now, absolutely I would. GES has been a real pleasure to work with, and the relationship continues to develop as we both look to improve upon what we’ve accomplished thus far, which is exciting for all parties involved.

Between Rose and Chris I can’t say enough good things about the GES team. I’ve felt like from the start they’ve been engaged with me to help me solve a problem. Since the inception we’ve been working closely to help solve the challenge at hand and we’ve collectively kept peeling the onion. For instance, when we started we had a problem with our pump system at the application stage. Come to find out, the polymer heats up to a pretty high temperature and the seals of the deployment pump would fail. I called Chris to ask him what he thought was happening and he was like, ‘if you’re not immediately trying to pump that through the pump prior to it heating up, yeah, it’s going to wreck the seals.’ So we solved the problem by finding a high-temperature chemical seal, which he was engaged with at the outset. I can’t even begin to tell you how many emails he sent me with resources full of information to look into when it came to finding an appropriate seal.

As we’ve gone through evaluating the product, they’ve been there. They want to help us find the perfect solution. I have no doubt that if we come out of spring and the product has deteriorated or is non-existent, Chris is going to be right there and spend more time trying to figure out where we go to move forward and solve it. That’s the kind of guy he is…

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Are you faced with a terrain based challenge you’re not sure how to best tackle? Contact the friendly folks here at GES. We’ll hear you out, and lead you down the best path to successful resolution. We’re with you every step of the way…

GES: For the Earth, with the Earth in Mind.

Gas and Oil Exploration

Gas and Oil Exploration

An industry that never rests in this great country of ours is the oil and gas exploration industry – which, in short, is the unearthing of fossil fuels which generate the energy needed to fuel myriad applications in everyone’s daily routines.

That said, there’s a lot of moving pieces and parts when it comes to this type of “exploration” and the ensuing extraction of these resources. Many such oil and gas exploration sites are abundant in challenging terrain and environmental variables that could pose distraction and ecosystem maladies if not tackled appropriately. That’s where Global Environmental Solutions comes in. Our suite of products has been confidently utilized for decades, offering the appropriate solutions needed to make sure the potential environmental issues created by the work being done onsite at oil and gas exploration facilities stays onsite.

Environmental issues to consider and act upon that come in to play when we start looking at oil and gas exportation sites:

  • Air quality
  • Land sustainably
  • Fresh water
  • Soil being disturbed at sites
  • Use of toxic chemicals
  • Hazardous wastes
  • Solid wastes and sewage
  • Radioactive wastes
  • Dust and/or sediment from stockpiles at sites
  • Dust from traffic at sites or access roads

There are numerous ways that any of the above can be compromised due to the nature of the work being done:

  • Surveying
  • Blasting
  • Drilling
  • Extraction
  • Associated incoming and outgoing site traffic

So how do we proactively combat these situations and make certain that the sites of oil and gas exploration remain safe for human and environmental life?

Let’s dive into some of the varied uses companies contract GES products for.

Oil & Gas Exploration companies have utilized us for::

To round it up, the Oil and Gas Exploration industry, is subject to myriad that adversely affect the environment if not treated appropriately and proactively combatted correctly. We at GES have been involved in many customized site treatment solutions over the years. If you need help or have questions, we have the answers and the products to keep your worksite safe, your workers safe, and the surrounding ecosystem safe – from the terrain, air, and water (seen and unseen). Let’s work through it together to fuel collaborative success.

GES: For the earth with the earth in mind.

Safe? Striking out dust on the ball field

Safe? Striking out dust on the ball field

We’re in the thick of baseball season. Parents are spending all their “free” weekend time at the ballfield, or carting their kids and their friends off to the next ballfield. It’s one of the traditions Americans have come to love as spring turns to summer and the sun shines down upon the diamond in all its glory.

While you’re sitting there in the stands cheering your excitable player on, have you ever wondered why they’re outfitted for a facemask to protect them from the ball but not a facemask (respirator) that protects them dust that gets kicked up with every fleeting step?

That may seem like a joke, but be assured, we’re not joking at all…

Fact is, the soil on the ballfield and the dust it emits can be likened to the dust that floats around on a construction site. Guess what they’re wearing? Yep. Masks.

“What?!”

It’s true.

That dust little Bobby is breathing into his lungs after sliding into second base is full of crystalline silica. And while Bobby stole the base safely, that kicked up dust is unsafe and sneakily stealing Bobby’s health one microbe at a time.

What is Crystalline silica?

Crystalline silica is a basic component of soil, sand, granite, and many other minerals. Quartz is the most common form of crystalline silica. Crystalline silica has been classified as a human lung carcinogen. Additionally, breathing crystalline silica dust can cause silicosis, which in severe cases can be disabling, or even fatal. The respirable silica dust enters the lungs and causes the formation of scar tissue, thus reducing the lungs’ ability to take in oxygen.

Further: Pm2.5 and pm10 sized crystalline silica particles lodge deep into lung tissue and stay embedded in your lungs for your entire life… Those numbers may not mean anything to you. In short, they’re quite smaller than the diameter of a human hair. Basically microscopic. When kicked up on the field, these particles can remain airborne for a solid 24-hours.

 

Don’t just take our word for it.

This is a studied matter. In fact, major organizations that have confirmed the warning of hazardous crystalline silica dangers include:

 

  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • American Lung Association (ALA)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

 

So, if it’s known, why isn’t being addressed?

In short. Change is hard. It takes an investment – of money, and time. That said, isn’t your child’s health reason enough to ask the organization your affiliated with some questions? It’s not an easy subject. By-and-large, dust is ignored and “just there.” That said, remember in the 60s and 70s when you could smoke on a plane? Or up until even more recently, in a restaurant? Remember when asbestos and lead paint were used in ALL the houses constructed across the country at that time?

 

Here’s the skinny:

The dust and health deterring particles your young player inhales can be easily prevented. In fact, it’s 100% preventable.

A common way some groundcrews keep dust at bay is by watering the soil of the diamond (STRIKE one). The problem is, watering only lasts so long before the sun dries it out – oftentimes before a game culminates, thus knocking us right back to square one (STRIKE two). The flipside of that coin is that, if you use too much water, you’re bound to start creating mud, which will inevitably lead to tracking, clumping, caking, and other issues that can spread throughout the ballpark (STRIKE three).

Enter Global Environmental Solutions. We’ve spent a great deal of time creating better, smarter, and safer ballfields for our kids, friends, and families across the nation. How do we do it? That would come in the form of our Dustless® product, which we rolled out back in 2002. Dustless® is a long lasting non-toxic, non-hazardous liquid that absorbs into particles and prevents them from becoming airborne. Sun does not dry it out and rain cannot wash it from the dirt. The only reason Dustless® needs to be re­applied is if it is covered over with new material or buried deep by due to the tilling of the terrain. The lifespan of Dustless® can last as long as several seasons with a single application depending on environmental variables (of which, we be quite happy to discuss).

 

What have we learned?

Dust is not just dust. As it applies to the baseball diamond, dust is a real health hazard that is preventable if we choose to recognize it for what it really is. It’s not up to the players to control it, it’s up to the towns, leagues, parents, coaches and umpires to protect the players and ensure the fields are free from hazards before, during, and after play. It’s not hard to get control, and it’s even easier to keep control once you’ve established it. Baseball and all it represents is supposed to be fun. It’s “America’s favorite pastime.” Let’s keep on enjoying its rich tradition, and expand upon the safety of our baseball facilities. Together we can create lasting memories while bringing safer facilities to fruition. We can achieve this. All it takes is a single swing and we can knock it out of the park. Give GES a shout today, and take us out to the ballgame. We’ll root for the home team and quickly get to the root of dusty field conditions…

Dealing with Construction Caused Dust Properly

Dealing with Construction Caused Dust Properly

As we enter the warmer months the sight (and sound!) of construction vehicles will reach its annual peak. Construction projects are in abundance – around the house, around the office, around town, and on roads and pathways connecting all of the above…

So what does this have to do with Global Environmental Solutions?

Everything really.

With construction – regardless of what type – comes disturbance of the soil and the environmental issues that this creates. With that disturbance comes the inevitability of dust. This dust creates major issues because it not only affects the ecosystem, but is a major health hazard to those working the construction site and to those people residing in the surrounding area as well. The workers are, for all intents and purposes, at “ground zero” when it comes to dust and the risks that airborne particulate matter poses.

For environmentalists and health agencies this dust is measured as PM10 and PM2.5 which means particulate matter 10 microns and 2.5 microns respectively.   To provide ideas as to the danger PM10 is small enough that when it enters the lungs it does not leave (it can’t be exhaled or coughed up so it is accumulative). PM2.5 is so small that it can pass through cell walls wreaking havoc throughout the body of all airbreathing creatures including humans!

Crystalline silica is a basic component of soil, sand, granite, and many other minerals. Quartz is the most common form of crystalline silica. Crystalline silica has been classified as a human lung carcinogen. Additionally, breathing crystalline silica dust can cause silicosis, which in severe cases can be disabling, or even fatal. The respirable silica dust enters the lungs and causes the formation of scar tissue, thus reducing the lungs’ ability to take in oxygen.

PM10 & PM2.5 compared to a human hair and a particle of beach sand:

GES Products protect your site’s soil from dust, sediment, erosion, etc

There’s no shortage of studies that outline the dangers of dust pertaining to construction sites. Uncontrolled airborne particles can cause:

  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Silicosis
  • Non-asbestos related cancers
  • Death

That last one is extreme (obviously,) but, that said (and sad to say), it’s true.

The very nature of construction activity is the impetus behind the production of potentially harmful dust. Processes such as sanding, sweeping, hammering, mining, blasting, traffic, transport, and actions of the like are cause for putting many a particle into the air.

How do we combat construction site dust emissions?

Many construction companies combat dust in the air by bringing in a water truck to keep the soil and mineral aggregate “at bay” during the times of laborious activity. The thinking here is to water down the soil which in turn will work to reduce the amount of dust entering the atmosphere. This isn’t untrue, but it’s not a particularly sound practice. Water dries out. In the warmer months, this happens quickly. Thus, water needs to be continuously reapplied which can be costly from myriad vantage points.

The better solution is contracting unique construction site needs to Global Environmental Solutions and our DirtGlue® line of soil treatment products.

DirtGlue® polymer emulsion is a powerful, high-tech soil stabilization bonding agent specifically engineered to bond soil particles together. A non-hazardous product, DirtGlue® polymer contains no harmful chemicals, will not adversely affect people, animals or aquatic life.

DirtGlue® polymer penetrates the surface binding with the soil to form a tough, durable, three-dimensional matrix layer of protection and soil stabilization.

As we’re sure you know if you’re looking into dust suppression solutions for the jobsite, there are a number of moving pieces and parts when it comes to construction projects. From the environmental terrain a foundation is built on, to the access point of a driveway, to the challenges associated with mining and hauling in and around the jobsite – it can seem endless. Global Environmental has many different solutions that can easily help with many facets of construction projects.

Full list of products for consideration:

And, as always, we’re here if you have any questions at all as is it pertains to your needs. We rest at nothing to make worksite environments more manageable and a safer place to be spending most of your waking hours.

The DirtGlue® suite of products work hard to hold the earth in place. Keeping you, your employees, and your customers safer and healthier across the board.

Controlling Dust is Crucial

Equestrian Dust Control

When dust gets out of control, it can have serious impacts on human health. Numerous health studies have shown a significant relationship between exposure to particulate matter in the air and health risks, including: coughing, sneezing, increased difficulty in breathing, sore eyes, throat inflammation, and for those with asthma, substantial particulate matter can trigger full-blown attacks. Some research is even showing a potential link between airborne contaminants and heart-related issues such as angina and heart attack.

Worse yet, particulate matter from mining operations, coal plants, quarries, and other areas that contain carcinogenic contaminants has been linked to severe long-term health effects, including lung cancer and death.

Other impacts of dust are: decreased visibility, deposits and stains on houses and nearby vehicles, clogging of filters on home and vehicle air intakes, and harmful deposits and runoff that make it into sensitive environmental areas, impacting plant and animal life.

Controlling dust is an important issue.

Thankfully, Global Environmental Solutions has a means for doing just that.

Our DustLess® organic fluid can be used in areas such as mining operations, quarries, construction sites, and anywhere else that traffic moves on unpaved surfaces. It is an environmentally safe dust suppressant that eliminates the need to water, and does not dry out. Clear and odorless, DustLess® is highly refined, and proven to be non-toxic to humans, animals, marine life and plants. DustLess® comes ready to use (no water or mixing required), making it an easy-to-use solution for reducing contaminant laden dust. This protects the health of workers, nearby inhabitants, and the entire environment of the surrounding area.

To help stabilize the fine dust particles in the soil surface that creates harmful dust, we offer DirtGlue®, a liquid concentrate that when diluted with water and applied to the soil surface, bonds the individual soil particles together and dries to form a “crust” that strengthens the surface of the soil enabling it to prevent dust, sediment, and erosion for extended periods of time.

DirtGlue® Industrial polymer applied as part of the Polymer Pavement System helps eliminate “track out” – the carrying of contaminant laden particles on the tires of construction vehicles which hitch a ride on exiting vehicles then get deposited on nearby roads and highways as these vehicles fling the contaminants off of tire treads when they come up to road speed on paved surfaces.

By reducing both dust and track-out, these products provide a true Global Environmental Solution to the spread of contaminant laden particles.

Dust pollution is a real thing. It is a harmful, potentially deadly airborne risk. To minimize that risk, Global Environmental Solutions is here to help.

Have further questions on how to best manage contaminant laden dust in your area?

Contact Global Environmental Solutions today.

For the earth, with the earth in mind™