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New measures for combating and managing particulate matte

Feb 01, 2007 / CIPRA Internationale Alpenschutzkommission
Every winter, de-icing salt is scattered on the roads despite its negative impact on the environment, groundwater, infrastructure and cars. But now Klagenfurt/A has come up with an alternative: Instead of salt it is to spray calcium magnesium acetate (CMA), a de-icing agent made from calcium, magnesium and acetic acid.
CMA is not harmful to groundwater or plants; it is however much more expensive than salt. Nonetheless Klagenfurt town council is happy to shoulder the extra costs. In fact CMA has a positive side-effect in that it binds a large proportion of the particulate matter caused by traffic. In particular CMA is said to bind the abrasion particles from tyres and brakes which are then dispersed time and time again by road traffic. Experience in Sweden has shown that particulate pollution can be lowered by 30% as a result.
In South Tyrol/I, the province's environmental agency has taken the initiative in the battle against particulate matter. The campaign to improve air quality includes multi-year plans, traffic restrictions, an internet site and a hotline as well as a text messaging service. The text service will inform subscribers of any driving bans likely to be imposed as a result of poor air quality. This is to prevent those concerned not receiving the information in good time and finding themselves facing closed roads. The large number of registrations (some 4,050 in three weeks) shows that the people of South Tyrol welcome the service and are willing to take an active part in keeping the air clean. The text messaging service was implemented for the first time in mid-January. The all-clear was given following the measurements taken the next day.
Source: Sonntagszeitung (28.1.2007); (it/de/ladin)