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3M Smog-Reducing Roofing Granules are among TIME's Best Sustainability & Social Good Inventions

Thursday, November 15, 2018 10:32 am CST


TIME Magazine chose 3M Smog-reducing granules for its list of Best Inventions of 2018 in the Sustainability & Social Good category.

The Smog-reducing granules harness the power of the sun to turn roofing shingles into a pollution-fighting surface. When the sun hits the granules, their photocatalytic coating transforms the smog pollution (nitrogen oxides) into water-soluble ions that safely wash away with rain.

“Our smog-reducing technology is a great example of how we innovate at 3M to improve lives through science, and how we collaborate with our customers and our communities to improve air quality and public health,” said Gayle Schueller, 3M Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer.

3M’s roofing solutions that improve the climate address an important problem. The World Health Organization estimates about seven million people die every year from exposure to fine particulates in polluted air. Forty-one percent of Americans live in counties with unhealthy levels of ozone or particle pollution, according to the American Lung Association’s “State of the Air 2018” report. 

Smog reducing granules use a specialized photocatalytic coating.  When the coating on the granule is activated by UV sunlight it turns smog that has landed on the roof into water-soluble ions that wash away over time.  Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory testing validated the photocatalytic materials used can reduce smog and contribute to cleaner air.

“We view smog-reducing technology, embedded into mainstream roofing materials, as a great step forward in addressing air quality and climate concerns,” said Jonathan Parfrey, founder and executive director of Climate Resolve, a U.S. non-profit organization focused on local solutions to global climate change, said in June when the granules were launched. 

3M Smog-reducing granules were first introduced to consumers for residential homes roofing. Since about 80% of U.S. residential roofs are made with asphalt, this represents a tremendous opportunity to make a difference in air quality.

But 3M expects they will expand to different applications, products and to solve more air quality solutions and s in the future. 

Want to learn more about 3M’s Smog-reducing Roofing Granules? Check out this article the Star Tribune wrote on the product.

 

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