Burn­ing tyres are toxic and dan­ger­ous

The Oban Times - - LETTERS - Alis­tair Wal­lace, Blaich, Fort Wil­liam.

Sir, In­evitably at this time of year bon­fires abound and are gen­er­ally great fun, es­pe­cially for chil­dren.

How­ever, this is no fun for those gath­ered round, or liv­ing near, a bon­fire that in­cludes burn­ing tyres.

I guess peo­ple who are burn­ing tyres are ig­no­rant of the fact that they are po­ten­tially crip­pling the next gen­er­a­tion of chil­dren or that they them­selves could die an early death from lung can­cer, leukemia or lead poi­son­ing aris­ing from the toxic soup of pol­lu­tants re­leased by burn­ing tyres.

There are more than two gal­lons of pe­tro­leum and oil in one tyre alone, nu­mer­ous chem­i­cals in­clud­ing chlo­rine, styrene, and bu­ta­di­ene, and more than 20 dif­fer­ent heavy met­als. Styrene and bu­ta­di­ene are both sus­pected of caus­ing can­cer, and the met­als such as lead, chromium, cad­mium and mer­cury don’t even burn away – they just get re­leased into the at­mos­phere as frag­mented ash, small par­ti­cles which can set­tle deep in the lungs. Now that’s scary.

Chil­dren, foe­tuses, el­derly and asth­mat­ics are all more vul­ner­a­ble to the pol­lu­tants re­leased by burn­ing tyres.

Too late for this year but the next time you see a bon­fire of burn­ing tyres, you may want to keep your fam­ily safe, at home with the win­dows shut.

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