Dwellers of modern cities often have to deal with the problems of industrial pollution
, which leads to a host of problems ranging from thick and ugly smog to health issues like asthma
. But a team of Italian inventors may have a new solution to this problem that urbanites have had to deal with since the 19th century -- use pollution-eating cement. Buildings and streets across Western Europe are just starting to use TX Active, which has been in development for a decade. According to an article in BusinessWeek
, the town of Segrete in northern Italy
has repaved a street that sustains 1,000 cars per hour with TX Active. A spokesman for the company, Italcementi, said that it had measured a 60 percent reduction in nitric oxide on that street. According to Italcementi, the cement has a photocatalyzer that speeds up the natural oxidation process of pollutants in the presence of natural or artificial light, making it more environmentally-friendly by "transforming them into less harmful compounds such as water, nitrates, or carbon dioxide." Now if only they could repave every freeway in Los Angeles with this stuff, that would be a major boon for the environment; of course, shutting down LA's arteries would be like shutting down our access to the internet -- not gonna happen.