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Car exhaust gets another indictment.

Car exhaust gets another indictment

Among the pollutants belched into the air by gasoline-powered vehicles are multi-ring chemicals known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). In recent years, scientists have been finding nitrogen-containing versions of these on organic particles collected from the atmosphere. In the Feb. 3 JOURNAL OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY, chemist William A. Pryor and his colleagues at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge report a possible connection between these two observations.

The researchers discovered that naphthalene -- a two-ring PAH found in exhaust -- can react with nitrogen dioxide, another important air pollutant, via a new mechanism involving unstable molecular fragments, or free radicals. The result is a variety of mutation-producing nitro- and dinitronaphthalenes, identical to those pollutants found on the organic particles. The condition of the laboratory reactions also occur in the atmosphere, the researchers say.
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Publication:Science News
Date:Feb 25, 1989
Words:136
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