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It’s not just cars that make pollution. It’s the roads they drive on, too

Science: “…The researchers estimated the annual emissions from new paving and roofing in parts of Southern California. They calculate that molecules released from asphalt could lead to between 1000 and 2500 tons of particulate air pollution—compared with just 900 to 1400 tons from gasoline and diesel vehicles. (Both sources pale in comparison to volatile chemical products, such as pesticides, coatings, adhesives, cleaning agents, and personal care products, which together contribute 4500 to 9500 tons of particulate pollution per year.) It’s not necessarily the case that asphalt roads cause more total air pollution than cars, however. Gentner notes that vehicles also release harmful particles from combustion and exhaust gases that form ozone. “This is really one of the first papers that makes a quantitative connection between these gases from asphalt and aerosol formation in urban air,” says Joost de Gouw, an environmental chemist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who was not involved with the work…”

Source documentAsphalt-related emissions are a major missing nontraditional source of secondary organic aerosol precursors – Science Advances 02 Sep 2020: Vol. 6, no. 36, eabb9785 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb9785

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