Amy J. Born | June 20, 2022

Roofing shingles with the ability to combat smog Roofing shingles that act similarly to trees – reducing smog. Image: 3M

Malarkey Roofing Products introduced the first smog-reducing shingle. Each roof using these shingles eliminates the same amount of smog as two to three trees. With enough roofing materials available to cover over 400,000 roofs, that equates to the smog-reducing capacity of more than one million trees.

The key to this result is the integration into the roofing shingles of 3M smog-reducing granules that remove smog gases from the air as effectively as trees, which absorb pollutant gases such as nitrogen oxides, ozone and carbon monoxide. The 3M granules incorporate a photocatalyst that reacts with ultraviolet (UV) light to turn the nitrogen oxides in smog into a form of nitrogen usable by plants.

Renewable catalyst does not lose function

The technology at work with the integration of 3M’s smog-reducing granules takes place at a microscopic level that is imperceptible to the naked eye and does not diminish the performance or the visual aesthetics of the shingles. In addition, the photocatalyst is not consumed by the reaction, but rather is refreshed by rain or dew in a continuous cycle, maintaining its smog-reducing capability.

Malarkey Roofing Products has been using 3M roofing granules in its roofing products for over 65 years. The company’s commitment to sustainability has been evident with its use of upcycled rubber and plastics to reduce landfill waste. The integration of 3M smog-reducing granules was a natural fit.Image Source: 3MImage Source: 3M

“3M smog-reducing granules are proof that we can use ingenuity and a science-based approach to solve challenges facing our environment without compromising performance or visual aesthetics,” said Ippocratis Vrohidis, president, 3M industrial mineral products division. “Achieving this ambitious milestone is just the beginning of our commitment to drive impact for the greater good.”

The American Lung Association’s 2022 “State of the Air” report 2018-2020 revealed that more than 40% of Americans live with unhealthy levels of air pollution. 3M’s 2021 Home Renovation Study found that 56% of homeowners surveyed stated they believe all products should have an eco-friendly component. Additionally, 52% stated they would be more active in considering eco-friendly materials if their friends and family were doing so.