Transport for London (TfL) is testing out a new dust suppressant that will be sprayed on streets in 15 locations throughout London. The suppressant, which is made up of calcium magnesium acetate, is designed to absorb pollution from the air and “glue” it to the pavement. The suppressant will be sprayed on the streets and, based on pilot projects in London last year, is expected to reduce airborne particulate matter in pollution hot spots by roughly ten percent. Once removed from the air and bound to the roadway, dust particles are picked up by car tires or washed away by rain.
London often surpasses European regulations governing the level of airborne particulate matter (PM 10) and, while the new technology may reduce the level of particulate matter in certain areas, environmental groups are skeptical – viewing the technology as a quick fix that fails to address the root causes of air pollution.