Pollution from car tyre particles causing ‘increasing concern’. say scientists

Pollution from car tyre particles causing ‘increasing concern’. say scientists

According to a recent study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, the health impact of tyre particles is causing increasing concern among scientists. The study found that tiny particles released from tyres as they wear down can contribute significantly to air pollution and pose a risk to human health.

The study estimates that up to 10% of tiny particulate matter in the air comes from tyre wear, which is comparable to the contribution from exhaust emissions. These particles, known as microplastics, can enter the human body through inhalation and ingestion, potentially causing respiratory and cardiovascular problems.

woman with dust mask commuting on bicycle

One of the main reasons for concern is that most car journeys are short and often involve stopping and starting, which increases tyre wear and the release of particles into the air. Cycling or walking, on the other hand, can help reduce pollution and improve health.

Short car journeys are not only bad for the environment but also for our health. In urban areas, where air pollution levels are often higher, the health benefits of walking or cycling instead of driving are particularly significant. Research has shown that active travel can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes, as well as improve mental health.

In addition to the health benefits, cycling and walking can also have economic benefits. Studies have shown that investing in infrastructure for cycling and walking can help boost local economies by increasing foot traffic for local businesses and reducing healthcare costs associated with sedentary lifestyles.

To address the health impact of tyre particles, scientists are calling for more research into the effects of microplastics on human health and for measures to reduce emissions from tyre wear. In the meantime, individuals can take steps to reduce their exposure to air pollution by choosing to walk or cycle instead of drive for short journeys.

In conclusion, the health impact of tyre particles is a growing concern, and reducing emissions from tyre wear is crucial to protecting public health. Choosing to walk or cycle instead of drive for short journeys can not only help reduce air pollution but also improve health and support local economies.