During World War II, a polyacrylamide compound was developed that, when sprayed on sand, formed a crust, which prevented the sand from blowing. This was useful at airstrips in dusty environments. This became even more useful when helicopters became widely used, and were operated in dry environments. Sand and dust were deadly to helicopter engines, and mechanical equipment in general. However, decades later, it was found that some of the polyacrylamide eventually degrades into a substance that is harmful to humans. So a new, safer substitute, that uses corn syrup, phosphate, starch and water. None of these substances are toxic, or degrade into anything toxic.