Tires were 2 thousand times more toxic than car exhaust

A study by the independent company Emission Analytics showed that there is something more dangerous than car emissions.

Image by Peter H from Pixabay

When worn out, car tires emit 2 thousand times more toxic substances than exhaust gases. This means that electric vehicles that have the same tires are not as eco-friendly as is commonly believed.

The negative effect increases in proportion to the size of the machine. The higher its mass, the greater the probability of rapid tire wear and the release of toxic substances. An important note is that electric cars usually weigh more than conventional cars, due to the massive battery. With an aggressive driving style, the number of toxic substances released increases.

The researchers conducted tire wear tests on Mercedes C-Class cars. 14 different car brands were tested while driving, and some of them were tested over their entire service life.

A sampling system attached to the vehicles drew in harmful particles and estimated their mass, number, and particle size. From time to time, scientists also used high-precision scales to measure tire weight loss.

It turned out that the new tires produce 73 milligrams of particles per kilometer of mileage, and the old ones — 36.5. this means that during wear, the new tires produce 3,650 times more emissions than the exhaust pipe. Taking into account the average level of tire emissions over the entire service life, this number drops to 1,850 times, the researchers estimate.

Some of the particles were quite tiny-23 nanometers. The smaller the particles become, the more volatile they become, which means they are harder to regulate. Therefore, Western countries do not yet have a system for accounting for such tiny particles. In turn, ultrafine particles pose a particular health hazard, as they can enter human organs through the bloodstream.

At the same time, about 300 thousand tons of tire rubber enter the environment of the United States and EU countries every year, according to Emission Analytics estimates.

You can reduce damage by avoiding tires with the highest amount of harmful substances. The study was not conducted in vain right now – the European Union is considering new Euro-7 vehicle emission rules. experts are considering whether to take into account restrictions on emissions that are not related to exhaust gases — such as emissions of toxic particles from tires.

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