Particle pollution as a result of tyre wear is found to be 2,000 times worse than modern car exhaust emissions, according to a recent study undertaken by Emissions Analytics. Used tyres produce 36mg of particles per kilometre, which contain a range of compounds including ultrafine carcinogens, that are small enough to enter the organs via the bloodstream.
‘Tyres are rapidly eclipsing the tailpipe as a major source of emissions from vehicles,’ said Nick Molden from Emissions Analytics. ‘Tailpipes are now so clean for pollutants that, if you were starting out afresh, you wouldn’t even both regulating them.’
The increasing weight of cars, especially battery-powered electric cars, is exacerbating the problem. The weight of the battery causes tyres to wear out faster and produces more particle pollution. There are currently no regulations on the wear rate of tyres and little regulation on the chemicals they contain.
However, this shows that it is more important than ever to increase the life of our tyres and help decrease particle pollution.