DAVID C. STOLINSKY, M.D.
To the editors: Automotive emission-control devices are intended to reduce the amounts of nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, and carbon monoxide in the exhaust. Unfortunately, while the amounts of these pollutants are reduced, the amounts of SO3 and H2SO4 are increased. Gasoline contains about 0.03% sulfur. Uncontrolled gas engines emit this as SO2 but catalyst-equipped cars oxidize it further to SO3, which readily combines with moisture to yield H2SO4. The relative amounts of SO3 and H2SO4 emitted per mile by various engines are as follows (1): gas engine, no catalyst, no air pump: 1; gas engine, oxidizing catalyst, no air pump: 50;
STOLINSKY DC. Catalyst-Equipped Cars, Oxides of Sulfur, and Respiratory Tract Irritation. Ann Intern Med. 1983;99:413. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-99-3-413_1
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1983;99(3):413.
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