Solving the Silica Dust Problem on Your Construction Site0

Exposure to silica dust poses serious health and safety threats to workers in many construction related industries. As we know, inhaling respirable crystalline silica is extremely dangerous as it can greatly increase a worker’s risk of developing silicosis, lung cancer, COPD or kidney disease.

OSHA has recently tightened regulations for operations that produce silica dust. Contractors can avoid exposure assessments and monitoring by complying with the safety controls specified in Table 1 of OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1926.1153. The grace period for the milling industry to implement these procedures has come to an end, and other industries can expect specific regulations in the near future for their operations. Based on the construction industry trends and safety knowledge, it is important for all operations with exposure to silica dust to implement controls that protect workers and maintain OSHA compliance.

While there are multiple ways to modify operations to reduce silica dust exposure, adding a surfactant designed to control silica dust to existing water spray down systems is an immediate and effective solution that prevents most OSHA imposed exposure assessments. A surfactant is a highly concentrated wetting agent that lowers the surface tension of water. This allows the water to better saturate dust particles, which causes them to drop out of the air onto the ground.

When choosing a surfactant for your operations, be sure to choose a solution that has a specifically targeted formula for silica dust control. There are multiple surfactants on the market, but just because a product is labelled as a surfactant does not mean it was designed for silica dust suppression and worker safety. A surfactant designed for silica dust control should be formulated to alter the static surface charge of dust particles. There should be adequate testing to show significant dust reduction levels. A Safety Data Sheet (SDS) should accompany the surfactant and it should be properly labelled meeting the latest GHS standard, which is required for industrial use chemicals. Surfactants formulated for silica dust suppression and tested to show proven effectiveness are easy to implement and cost effective.

Most dust producing machines are already equipped with a water tank; adding a surfactant to the existing spray down system is easy and does not typically require additional installation of parts or equipment. Employees utilizing the surfactant should be informed about the dilution rate of the surfactant and proper practices, but additional extensive training would be unnecessary.
When choosing a dust-suppression surfactant look for a product that demonstrates effective results at high dilution rates. This type of surfactant requires very little product but creates dramatic dust reducing results. Adding a proven surfactant to existing water spray down systems reduces the amount of water needed for effective dust suppression. This provides additional cost savings in the form of time, labor and the water itself.

Adding an appropriate surfactant to operations with exposure to silica dust is a smart way for contractors to be OSHA compliant and keep workers safe from harmful exposure.

To learn more about a surfactant solution for your operations, contact us (Chemtek, Inc) at 800-672-8536 and ask to speak with our expert in silica dust suppression techniques.









Fall Fun Day!

Last week, the Chemtek team took a break from the usual workday routine to have a fun and competitive afternoon. This “Fall Fun Day” began with a catered lunch for everyone and was followed by a “scavenger hunt.”

We broke into teams of four, each with a driver and team captain. We used the GooseChase App for the scavenger hunt which had a list of tasks for each team to complete. Each task was worth a certain number of points, and photo/video evidence had to be submitted through the app for each task to count. Teams had two hours to complete as many tasks as possible before meeting up at the local bar by our office to crown the winner. We watched all the videos submitted together – it’s always entertaining to watch your coworkers dye their hair, jump in a pond and get a piggyback ride from a stranger!

The champions’ trophy is now sitting on display in our café! It was a great afternoon for team building and fun. We are looking forward to another day of fun next quarter!

Innovative Products from PWX 20170

Our PavePro team traveled down to sunny Orlando, Florida at the end of August to attend the 2017 National Public Works Exposition. Hundreds of cities, counties and businesses gathered in the convention center to show off their products, network with others in the industry and generate new business. Educational seminars were offered for continuing professional development, and there was even a blood drive to benefit those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Overall, PWX 2017 proved to be a great success! We always value taking time to explore the expo floor learning about new products and industry trends as well as meeting other professionals in the public works sector.

Here are a few products that we found particularly innovative and noteworthy!

Multi-Shade by Sun Mullet

Sun Mullet provides a multi-use sun shade accessory that converts any head wear into a sun hat. The product is unique in its convenience, coverage and comfort. Outdoor workers in construction, paving, contracting and more know the importance of protecting their face and neck from the sun. The Sun Mullets can be worn in eight different ways and come in a variety of colors. They are both professional and practical, as workers will look more uniformed with matching sun mullets. They can also be customized with a company logo. The simplicity and practicality of the sun mullet is unmatched!



AQUA PATCH is a US patented, high performance, water-activated asphalt/ concrete patching material. It delivers the quickest setting time and the longest-lasting solution. AQUA PATCH contains no petroleum or no cutbacks, but uses plant based oil for binder. AQUA PATCH saves time and money eliminating repeated repairs. Unlike conventional cold mix asphalt, AQUA PATCH lasts for years and has a three year cure guarantee. The weather conditions are never a problem as AQUA PATCH is all-weather and can be applied in adverse conditions and in standing water. AQUA PATCH is “Hot mix in a bag!”


Atlantic Paving
The asphalt, paving and construction industry is not too often associated with creativity and color. However, Atlantic Paving brings beauty to the streets with its “decorative technology for the road ahead.” Atlantic Paving has a variety of colored asphalt products and systems to beautify city streets for both practical and aesthetic appeal. The advanced technology offers many unique features depending on the project, such as solar reflective colors options, non-slip, washable many more. Whether brick accents, biker lanes or a local artist’s design on pavement, Atlantic Paving delivers in a durable and eco-friendly way.


HoleHat was the winner of the PWX 2017 Best New Product award. It is a simply yet highly effective product design aimed at improving safety around paving and construction sites. It eliminates the fall hazard surrounding manholes by being a visual deterrent as well as fall protection. HoleHat has capitalized on the need for increased safety protocols and being a functional and cost-effective solution to the dangers of falls. The HoleHat will not only protect workers but ensure that the business is OSHA compliant.


Of course, our own product PavePro is setting the industry standard for cleaning asphalt off tools and equipment! PavePro is a biodegradable asphalt solvent that is effective, environmentally friendly and easy to use. It works better than diesel fuel and stays on equipment longer than competing citrus products to prevent asphalt build up. PavePro meets or exceeds all EPA and RCRA regulations!






Beekeeping Buzz!

We’re buzzing over our bees! The Chemtek staff has recently taken up a new green initiative to continue its core values of environmental responsibility and sustainability. The pollinator project was inspired by Earth Day and began in the spring of 2017 with the goal of helping combat the widespread population decline of bees. Why are bees important to our environment? Bees are the primary pollinators of cultivated crops and are essential to global agriculture. Beekeeping has seen a steady increase in popularity over the past decade as more media attention has shed light on the plight of the bee population. The movement has even gained traction in urban areas!

Our Yanceyville campus is home to two beehives with two nucleus colonies and will soon have surrounding fruit trees and wildflowers. Our staff members take turns caring for and checking up on the bees. At this stage we are focused on growing the population of the hives and making sure they will survive their first winter. This involves careful tracking of the queens and monitoring the amount of honey present to prevent swarming. Our goal is to begin producing honey next year!

Not a bee expert? No problem! Bees are a fascinating species with a complex social structure. The three main types of adult bees – the queen, drones, workers – all have unique and important roles within the colony. There are many resources and online classes available on beekeeping for beginners for those looking to learn more.

The Caswell County Beekeepers Association has been a great resource for ensuring the success of our colonies. Chemtek will be a sponsor at Caswell County’s Brightleaf Hoedown in Yanceyville on September 16, 2017.

Bee on the lookout for more updates from our hives!

-Natalie Labonge, Marketing Team


Here at Chemtek, Inc. we are committed to a cleaner and greener future. Our passion and commitment to provide customers with environmentally friendly options has led us to develop innovative products for the paving and aviation industries. That’s why more than 10 years ago we developed PavePro Green, an environmentally friendly asphalt solvent that is not damaging to personnel or the world we live in.

We have made significant changes over the years that are beneficial to people using our products as well as the planet. Thats why we have introduced recyclable totes to contain our products, so the container is as eco friendly as the product inside. By ingraining integrity and responsibility into our corporate culture, we have created a company that is committed to an environmentally responsible future. With an in-house research and development team, we are continually looking for new ways to make our products better… Better for the environment and better for you, the customer. With each purchase of one of our environmentally friendly products, you are committing with us to make the world a cleaner place.

This year we chose to celebrate Earth Day as a company wide event. We gathered employees for a picnic and an afternoon of picking up trash at a local park as a way to give back to our local community. PavePro at The Eno 2014 was a huge success and we can’t wait to continue this tradition next year. Thank you for supporting a company that supports our environment.

-Robert Daigle, Marketing Team

 Haiti humanitarian efforts

  •  haiti relief pick up 020
  •  haiti relief pick up 008
  •  haiti relief pick up 006
  •  haiti relief pick up 002
  •  haiti relief pick up 001
  •  haiti relief pic5

During the Haiti relief efforts in 2010, Chemtek donated Avion product for the Air Force to use in its humanitarian efforts.

 Read more about the Air Force humanitarian efforts in Haiti: Tyndall Supports Haitian Relief…

PavePro… A New Solvent for the Environment

Emerging Technology article on PavePro Biodegradable Asphalt Solvent. Click the PDF below to read the full article.

Complying with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations when cleaning tar and asphalt from tools and equipment is one of the most important considerations for disposing of nonhazardous waste materials. PavePro, a biodegradable asphalt solvent produced by Chemtek, Inc. of Research Triangle Park, NC, reportedly does this in an environmentally sound manner.

 Read More: emergingtech →

Paving the Way for a Cleaner Environment


“Capital Idea: Paving the Way for a Cleaner Environment”

RALEIGH — It might seem we’ve just recently focused on making products that are safe for the environment. But a Triangle company has been in that business for 20 years.

One of Chemtek’s newest solutions could literally change the paving industry. It’s a Capital Idea that washes away asphalt without ruining our water supply.

We use asphalt for our roads for a reason: it’s hard, sticks together well and doesn’t wash away.

Once it’s on the road, great. But what makes the black, sticky substance so useful for our highways makes it difficult for workers building the roads.


Read More at:

Chemtek will be Closed 1/17/18 due to inclement weather. Learn More