Tyre emissions alert
Small particle emissions threat New report highlights dangers
Concern growing at level of pollution caused by tyres
MANUFACTURERS could face limits on the type of tyres and brakes they can use in the future, as experts predict legislators could soon turn their attention to particle matter emissions from these components.
A recent report by Transport for London and the Greater London Authority found that particle matter (PM) 2.5 emissions are a contributor to 29,000 premature deaths a year in the UK, and are “widely acknowledged as being the pollutant which has the greatest impact on human health”.
Small-particle emissions are linked to the use of wood-burning stoves, construction and the transport sector – in particular, wear from tyres and brakes. In cities such as London, vehicles contribute to more than half of PM2.5 emissions, with the capital already in breach of its pollution limits set by the World Health Organisation.
As the transport sector moves into electric vehicles, nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide emissions will significantly decrease, leaving emissions from tyres and brakes as the potential next concern. The report estimates that by 2030, 90 per cent of transport-related PM2.5 emissions will come from these parts. It also says there’s a need for additional national and international legislation to clamp down on local air pollution.
Speaking to Auto Express, Greg Archer, clean vehicles director at campaign group Transport & Environment, said: “It’s entirely true that as one source of emissions comes under control, other sources will become more important to authorities.” Archer added that while emissions from brakes will decrease as EVS adopt regenerative braking, this may not be enough.
Celine Cluzel, associate director at environmental and policy consultancy Element Energy, said: “Once 90 per cent of the dangerous emissions left will be from tyre and brake wear, it would seem logical that tyre materials and wear processes get investigated.” She added: “Regulation on tyres would not be the remit of cities, though, but rather for the central Government and the European Commission to set the bar.”
The European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association told Auto Express that previous research – produced through the Tyre Industry Project – has found that tyre and road wear particles “do not significantly contribute to the PM10 and PM2.5 levels”. The association added that testing on rats found “no adverse cardiopulmonary effects”.
“Yes, it’s entirely true that as one source of emissions comes under control, other sources will become more important to authorities”
Efforts to tackle vehicle emissions could next turn to reducing small particles from tyre and brake wear CLEAN UP Greg Archer