Sunscreen For Roads

(Photo credit: Jonathan Cutrer / CC BY-NC 2.0)

Our thanks to Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media and Molly Matthews Multedo via Yale Climate Connections for keeping us ahead of the curve:

Titanium dioxide coating could keep roads and bike paths cooler

Like mineral sunscreen, it works by reflecting UVA and UVB rays from the sun.

Biking or walking on a hot day can make you feel like you’re in an oven because dark pavement absorbs and retains heat. But applying a special coating to streets and bike paths could help cool them off.

Nicole Iroz-Elardo is an urban planning and public health researcher. She’s part of a University of Arizona-led team that’s testing a product made with titanium dioxide.

“It’s one of the major ingredients in your mineral sunscreen, and it works by reflecting UVA and UVB rays,” Iroz-Elardo says.

She says it soaks into the pavement and dries clear, so it does not create a glare that could distract drivers.

In lab tests, the material has been shown to reduce the surface temperature of pavement.

So now Iroz-Elardo’s team is working with the city of Tucson to test it on a stretch of road. They’ll monitor how it affects air temperature and people’s comfort…

Read the whole summary here.

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