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Fields & Applications Environmental, Mass Spectrometry

Road to Pollution

As our urban air quality improves – thanks to decades of research and regulations – it’s possible we have overlooked a significant source of pollution: our roads. In a recent study, researchers at Yale University suggest that asphalt could be a major contributor to non-combustion-related pollution in urban areas (1).

The team was already looking at the role of non-traditional sources of reactive, gas-phase, organic compounds on urban air quality when they decided to focus their attention on larger organic compounds in the intermediate and semi-volatile range. These are important for secondary organic aerosol formation, but less is known about their emissions from non-combustion sources, such as asphalt.

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  1. P Khare et al., Science Advances, 6, 9785 (2020). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb9785

About the Author

Lauren Robertson

By the time I finished my degree in Microbiology I had come to one conclusion – I did not want to work in a lab. Instead, I decided to move to the south of Spain to teach English. After two brilliant years, I realized that I missed science, and what I really enjoyed was communicating scientific ideas – whether that be to four-year-olds or mature professionals. On returning to England I landed a role in science writing and found it combined my passions perfectly. Now at Texere, I get to hone these skills every day by writing about the latest research in an exciting, creative way.

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