The Weather Channel - Gorilla-Snot Used to Tamp Down Arizona Dust Storms Along I-10

Anna Norris
2016-05-19
The Weather Channel

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Video Preview. Huge Dust Storm Closes Parts of I-10 in Arizona

Another big dust storm appears in southern Arizona causing I-10 to shut down in both directions on Monday.

 

Dust storms in Arizona have gotten so bad that the state has had to close 60 miles of Interstate 10 several times in the past month. To help keep the dust from blowing around and getting worse, officials are looking at a very odd-sounding product: Gorilla-Snot.

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No, it doesn't actually come from gorillas. Gorilla-Snot is a plastic-like product called a co-polymer, and it's used to create a crust over the soil so that it's harder for the dust to blow around.

"What the product is intended to do is essentially glue the top layer of soil down to keep the wind from picking it up," Trooper Kameron Lee of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, told KVIA.

It's no small undertaking to keep dust from flying around from the local farm where it's originating. All things considered, the Arizona Department of Transportation is spending $380,000 to hamper the dust storms, according to KGUN9, with $200,000 of that being spent on the Gorilla-Snot and the rest going towards water trucks that are wetting the soil.

"Ninety or 100-degree days, as soon as that water evaporates the dust is just going to get airborne again," Karol Clark from Soilworks, the company that makes the Gorilla-Snot product, told KPNX. "Water is not an effective solution, because the soil doesn't have any clay in it."

Tucson News Now reports that Soilworks is sending about 45,000 gallons of the product to be applied on the private property. Clark said her company's product is environmentally friendly and biodegradable.

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