Massachusetts scientists have revealed that toxic metal particles from automobile catalytic converters have been detected in the US urban atmosphere.
This survey was conducted by Swedish scientists in collaboration with researchers from the very serious Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the no less respectable Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
These scientists discovered high concentrations of platinum, palladium, rhodium and osmium in the air of the Boston urban area. Although these particles are not yet considered to be hazardous to health, indications suggest that they could become a potential hazard if car sales around the world pass by 50's estimates in 2000 to more than 140 million in 2050.
Finding solutions to "stabilize" these particles within the catalysts should be a priority to limit their potential impact, according to Sebastien Rauch of Chalmers University of Technology in Goteborg, Sweden. Other scientists have also detected high levels of these elements in Europe, Japan, Australia, Ghana, China and Greenland.
Let's not forget that catalytic converters are supposed to reduce emissions of carbon monoxide and other pollutants.
This study is expected to appear in the next issue of the journal Environmental Science and Technology.
source: United Press International