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

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™

Going Green Across the Board – Creating Safe, Stabilized Terrain, Safely

GES Green Across the Board

Here’s the thing – soil stabilization and dust remediation are challenges that are faced and dealt with on a daily basis around the globe. There are myriad options, as we discuss at length throughout the sources on our own site here, and as you’ll find in your own research. Some options are cheaper than others, as is the case with any market you dive into. That’s what competition is all about. The thing is, sometimes cheaper isn’t better. Especially in this industry. In fact, cheaper can perhaps lead to grave consequence. You see, when you’re dealing with soil and other moving pieces and parts (dust, particles, etc.), you need to be conscious of what’s happening in and around the site you’re treating. It’s imperative, as a race, that we’re not causing more harm to the ecological environment that surrounds the areas we’re working with / in.

Going green has different implications. Going green from our vantage point is not only about saving money, but also, utilizing a soil stabilization and dust remediation product that is not causing harm to the environment. It’s strengthening it – in more ways than one.

Global Environmental Solutions’ “green,” environmentally-friendly products continue to be used by professionals in the construction industry, demolition, contaminated soils sites, the mining industry, militaries around the world, and energy sectors to preserve air quality, save energy, reduce strain on natural resources, and lower costs of completing various dust control, erosion control, sediment control and stabilization projects.

As the manufacturer and supplier of the very best-in-class soil stabilization products since 2001, Global Environmental Solutions supplies a wide array of green products worldwide to benefit the environment as well as reduce cost and increase effectiveness for all industries that must deal with hazardous dust or require soil stabilization.

The development of these extremely effective products came about because of the ever increasing need throughout the world to keep the environment clean in an ever more active world. The soil stabilization industry needs to have a vision that allows for environmental sensitivity and the transparency to create products that are not only effective but also totally safe for the environment.

For example, DustLess® is the trademarked synthetic organic fluid dust control recognized worldwide as the most effective product in its class. DustLess® works without water to provide dust control for up to a year with a single cost effective application. This is important (and should be), and is GES’ legacy to the world we live in.

Questions or comments? Reach out!

Global Environmental Solutions: For the Earth, With the Earth in Mind.

Comparing DirtGlue® Polymer with other Latex Polymer Emulsions on the Market

Dirtglue Polymer Comparison

We get a lot of questions with regard to our DirtGlue® polymer, the ensuing line of products containing this technology, how it responds to varying application variables, and how it stacks up to other polymers on the market. It’s a fair thought to have, and we’re happy to answer it for you.

First things first:

What is DirtGlue® polymer emulsion?

DirtGlue® is an environmentally safe, powerful acrylic polymer emulsion that produces highly effective control of dust and erosion thereby stabilizing the soil. DirtGlue® polymer emulsions are designed to coat and bond soil particles together. They are formulated to fill the microscopic spaces between soil particles that are essentially in direct contact with each other and will achieve their highest level of performance under those conditions.

How does DirtGlue® compare to other polymers and copolymers?

It’s the goal of Global Environmental Solutions to offer a line of products that harness the advantages of latex acrylic polymer emulsions. Compared to other latex polymers like Polyvinyl Acetate (PVAs) or Vinyl Acetate Ethylene polymers (VAEs) that are used in the same industry, pure acrylics offer crucial and industry relevant advantages:

  • Superior bonding strength (more durable film, tougher crust).
  • High UV resistance (increased longevity).
  • Superior hydrophobicity (extremely water resistant).

In order to use acrylic polymer effectively, GES decided to address two functional attributes. First, the temperature range in which acrylic polymer could cure sufficiently was felt to be too narrow. Second, although acrylic is less susceptible to water reabsorption than the other latex products, it was felt that improvement was necessary.

GES has spent years researching and developing our unique, eco-friendly suite of products to study and improve the performance of the acrylics for soil stabilization while keeping the substantial advantages already inherent in the product. Our research and development efforts involved fine tuning a blend of the acrylic polymer with proprietary additives. The result of these efforts has created a powerful acrylic polymer with the
following outstanding characteristics:

  • High resistance to UV degradation.
  • Superior bonding strength in all applications.
  • Expanded temperature range, applications are also successful at low temperatures.
  • Enhanced flexibility of cured product, brittleness has been eliminated, and durability has been 
increased in freeze-thaw cycles.
  • Extreme water resistance – the cured products are nearly impervious to water.
  • Smooth and consistent film forming capabilities at low temperatures.

Despite the obvious advantages of pure acrylic polymers for the soil stabilization industry, most other companies use vinyl based polymer emulsions and copolymer blends of vinyl like PVAs or VAEs.

These vinyl-based products are slightly cheaper, offer relatively good flexibility, and have certain bonding capabilities. However, the disadvantages outweigh these characteristics.

Disadvantages of vinyl based products:

  • Low UV resistance.
  • Average bonding strength for most applications.
  • Susceptible to water reabsorption after long-term, continuous exposure to water weakening the 
product substantially (poor hydrophobicity).

There is another, lesser-known product that is used in the soil stabilization industry. This product is known as ultra filtered (UF). Its only advantage is a very low cost. It is typically made up of a blend of latex polymers, which is derived from the wash water of the polymer tanks between batches of the polymer making process.

The process involves extracting clean water from polymer-contaminated water that has been used to flush the tanks and lines after making the various latex polymers. Once most of the water has been extracted the remaining water that is contaminated with a blend of various latex polymers is either disposed of or sold extremely cheaply to the dust control industry.

There are several problems with this product:

  • The major that it’s made of a blend of many different materials and is always different. There is no consistency of product and therefore no consistency of application quality.
  • The market strategy of most, if not all other vendors is to buy huge quantities of the UF product for extremely low cost. They keep reapplying, which in most cases is many times due to the weakness and inconsistency of the product.

What have we learned?

We believe that DirtGlue® is the only polymer soil stabilization company that goes through an extensive testing program of all of the polymer before it becomes DirtGlue®. We have several very specific characteristics that the polymer must have in order to become DirtGlue®. Some of these are film forming quality, film forming temperature range, film strength, bonding strength, UV stability, hydrophobicity, and unconfined compressive strength (wet & dry). We have a chemist that has developed tests for all of the above to ensure consistent product and therefore consistent application and performance.

Global Environmental Solutions has positioned its products differently than all other latex polymer emulsions in the soil stabilization industry. We use only acrylics for superior UV stability and strength. These desirable characteristics are enhanced through the use of proprietary additives. Additives also permit the use of these better quality acrylics at a wide range of temperatures. Additives give the superior flexibility to an otherwise brittle product and create a tough, flexible film that is nearly impervious to water reabsorption. For these reasons DirtGlue® is a superior choice for any soil stabilization solution.

At a glance:

DirtGlue DVA Acrylic Ultra Filtered UF
% Solids: 50 35 –55 40 – 50 05 – 30
UV Stability Excellent Poor Good Poor
Flexibility Excellent Good Poor Fair
Bonding Strength Excellent Good Very Good Poor – Good*
Film Forming Excellent Good Fair – Good Poor – Fair
Application Temperature Range (ºF) 38 – 120 50 – 110 70 – 110 unknown*
PH 7 – 8 4 – 6 8 – 10 unknown*
Hazard Rating none none none unknown*
Resistance to Water (completed application) Excellent Poor Fair unknown*

*UF latex polymer products have a wide variation in quality and consistency due to their origins.
The above information is typical of the various latex polymers. There may be variations that fall outside of the typical range.

Feel free to give us a shout if you have any further questions or are in need of further information on Global Environmental Solutions and our DirtGlue® line of products!