Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have detected for the first time the presence in the atmosphere of toxic metals from automobile catalytic converters.
The study carried out by Swedish researchers in collaboration with MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution found high concentrations of platinum, palladium, rhodium, and osmium in the ambient air of Boston. Although the concentrations of pollutants are not today considered dangerous for health, the problem arises for the future. It is estimated that more than 140 million new vehicles equipped with catalytic converters will be put on sale in 2050. (Econology note: Wasn't it supposed to run out of oil in 2050?)
According to Sebastien Rauch of the Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, the priority now is to find ways to stabilize these particles in catalytic converters. The results of this study will be published on December 15
in Environmental Science and Technology.