Chemistry: Monoxide Rides the Freeways

Dutch-born Biochemist Arie Jan Haagen-Smit of Caltech, a Los Angeles city consultant on air pollution, has been doing his research while riding the Los Angeles-Pasadena freeway. His ancient Plymouth rigged with a portable carbon monoxide detector, he has sampled the tainted atmosphere at all times of day. As far out as Pasadena, the detector shows fairly clean air, but as soon as Haagen-Smit hits the freeway the deadly monoxide begins to climb. Quickly it passes 30 parts per million, which California smog authorities consider serious pollution.

Stink at Interchanges. Saturdays are not so bad;...

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