Cool cats make heavy metal fallout

Catalytic converterThe rapid adoption by the car industry of catalytic converters for petrol engines to reduce NOx and other pollutants has significantly improved the quality of air in busy towns and cities. However, Italian scientists says this improvement has comes at a significant price as they are finding rapidly rising levels of heavy metal fallout that could have serious implications for health.

Claudio Botre of the University of Rome and Alessandro Alimonti of the Italian National Institute of Health in Rome and their colleagues explain that the increasing numbers of catalytic converters on the road has led to rising environmental levels of the metals used as the catalysts in these devices – platinum, rhodium, palladium, and iridium. The team has published their detailed findings in the International Journal of Environment and Health.

More on this in a media release from Inderscience/DBSW on the subject on AlphaGalileo

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  1. David Bradley

    News coverage from the BBC today points out an additional downside to the use of noble metals in catalytic converters – the pollution of Arctic Siberia generated by palladium smelting plants, for instance.