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




The smell of summer in Los Angeles, or any major city, is often tinged with asphalt. A freshly paved road or a new tar roof doesn’t just wrinkle your nose, however: A new study suggests fresh asphalt is a significant, yet overlooked, source of air pollution. In fact, the material’s contribution to one kind of particulate air pollution could rival or even exceed that of cars and trucks.

"It's a super cool paper," says Allen Robinson, an environmental engineer at Carnegie Mellon University who was not involved with the research. "Asphalt could be a big, important contributor" to air pollution, he says.

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