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11 Jan 2012: ‘Dust Suppressant’ Sprayed
On London Streets to Improve Air Quality

Transportation officials in London have begun using a so-called “dust suppressant” at construction and industrial sites in an effort to improve air quality in some of the city’s more polluted areas. A biodegradable saline solution, which contains calcium magnesium acetate, is sprayed by trucks onto roadways where it acts like a glue, preventing some particulate matter from drifting into the air where it can be inhaled by humans. According to Transport of London, the municipal transportation agency, the solution will be sprayed in small amounts several times a week at 15 sites citywide. In early tests, city officials say, it has reduced particulate matter levels by as much as 14 percent. Mayor Boris Johnson said the dust suppressant is just one of many “short and long measures” the city will introduce to improve London’s air quality in 2012. Unless improvements occur, London could face fines for violating European Union limits on particulate matter.

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