Emissions of toxic substances such as oxides of carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, and, in addition, aromatic hydrocarbons, aldehydes and heavy metals are the most serious problem of road traffic affecting landscape. Platinum group elements (PGE), which are the main component of the catalyst, are one of the main sources of heavy metals in the environment. Here, we review the way by which emissions and forms of the emitted PGE end up in the environment especially to the soil-water-plant-animal system. The major points discussed are the following: 1) the main sources of PGE emission are automobile exhaust catalysts; 2) hospitals, where platinum is widely used to treat malignant neoplasm, and urban waste water belonging to other important sources of PGE in the environment; 3) soil is one of the most important components of the environment that may be contaminated with platinum metals; 4) phytotoxicity of PGE depends on the following conditions: the concentration of metals in the soil, time of exposure, the chemical form of metal, the chemical composition of exposed soil and plant species; 5) animals are also endangered by the increasing concentration of PGE in the environment. Moreover, we pay our attention to thiol-based mechanisms of how an organism protects itself against platinum group elements. <alternatives> [...] </alternatives>
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