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Innovation, Inspiration & Ideas

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photo of smog-reducing roofing granules that are gray
3M developed smog-reducing roofing granules for use in asphalt shingles. Image source: 3M

Could your roof help clear the air? If you install the latest shingles made with 3M’s new smog-reducing roofing granules, it certainly could. In fact, an average-sized home with smog-reducing roofing shingles can be as effective as two or more trees in cleaning the air.

Smog is created when pollutants (emitted by vehicles, power plants, chemical plants, and other sources) react chemically in the air in the presence of sunlight. This reaction creates ozone, which is harmful to breathe at elevated levels.

Sustainable and environmentally friendly building materials have been growing in use and popularity, but a material that actually improves the surrounding environment is a new possibility.  3M’s smog-reducing roofing granules use the power of the sun to work.

The Science Behind Smog-Reducing Roofing Granules

intro scene for video has home with shingles
Video source: 3M

Designed for use in asphalt shingles, these innovative roofing granules have a special photocatalytic coating that is activated by the sun’s ultraviolet rays. When the sun shines on shingles made with the smog-reducing granules, the shingles are able to transform air pollutants into water-soluble ions that wash away with rain.

According to 3M representatives, the impact of the water runoff is minimal because the smog would have infiltrated nearby water anyway if not transformed by the smog-clearing roofing shingles.

Recognizing Innovation

3M’s smog-reducing granules  are so innovative that the editors at TIME have named them one of the Best Inventions of 2018

Malarkey Roofing Products is one of 3M’s customers that is incorporating the smog-reducing granules in its asphalt shingles. Already Malarkey’s products have reduced smog equivalent to the work of 100,000 trees.

Kudos to 3M and Malarkey for leading the way in roofing solutions for the future. An innovation that can reduce smog and improve air quality is not only a benefit to the environment but to health and well-being as well. Could smog-reducing roads and walkways be products of tomorrow?

The Innovation, Inspiration & Ideas blog was created to share stories and profiles of companies, products and individuals creating innovation in business through inventive material solutions. For more information on why we launched it, read our blog introduction.
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About the Author

Allison Stroud

Allison Stroud is the managing editor of the Innovation, Inspiration & Ideas blog. A 14-year veteran of Nomaco, Allison specializes in marketing communications and serves as the company historian.

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