A study conducted on the impact of tires suggests that their wear can be even more polluting than the exhaust pipes of recent vehicles.
The polluting particles emitted by the wear of car tires are 2000 times more harmful than those produced by the exhaust gases, according to tests carried out by a British analysis firm and reported byThe Guardian.
According to the British newspaper, these tiny particles pollute both air, water and soil because they include many toxic organic compounds, some of which are known to be carcinogenic. While the latest car models include better particulate filters for the exhaust pipes, these new vehicles are often heavier which means more particles are thrown from the tires as they wear on the road. .
The tests also revealed that the tires produce more than a tonne of ultrafine particles for each kilometer travelled, in other words particles smaller than 23 nanometers. These, which are also emitted by exhaust gases, are particularly harmful to health because their small size means that they can enter organs via the bloodstream.
Main source of particulate emissions
Another problem: these particles are difficult to measure and are not regulated in the European Union or the United States.
“Tires far outweigh the tailpipe as the main source of particulate emissions,” says Nick Molden of Emission Analytics, an independent analyst firm that carried out the tests.
Emission Analytics carried out wear tests on 14 brands of tires installed on a Mercedes C-Class, driven at normal speed. It was only after an initial estimate of particles emitted by tires that Emission Analytics decided to carry out new work.
“We have arrived at a staggering amount of material released into the environment: in the United Kingdom and the United States, 300,000 tonnes of tire rubber come from cars and vans each year”, finally concludes Nick Molden. “Zero emission” electric vehicles fitted with tires are therefore also concerned.