How Your Tyres And Not Your Exhaust Is Producing Most Pollution

Wed 11th Mar 2020

New research has revealed a shocking finding that harmful particles produced by tyres are more polluting than the particles coming out of your vehicle exhaust pipe.

The stunning discovery was made by UK-based car pollution experts, Emissions Analytics, who found that car tyre wear can produce 5.8 grams per kilometre of harmful particles when a car is in motion, compared to 4.5 milligrams per kilometre from the exhausts of the latest models on the market.

The pollution which tyre particles make up are almost invisible to the naked eye, and at less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter can produce the greatest risk to our health. The research found that the rubber tyre on tarmac produced 1,000 times higher particle matter emissions than an exhaust. The figure could be even higher on under-inflated cars.

Richard Lofthouse, senior researcher at the vehicle testing group, said: “It's time to consider not just what comes out of a car's exhaust pipe but particle pollution from tyre and brake wear. 

“Our initial tests reveal that there can be a shocking amount of particle pollution from tyres – 1,000 times worse than emissions from a car's exhaust.”

While many motor manufacturers have worked hard to reduce engine emissions over the years in the battle against pollution, so-called ‘non-exhaust emissions’ have been largely ignored.

“What is even more frightening is that while exhaust emissions have been tightly regulated for many years, tyre wear is totally unregulated – and with the increasing growth in sales of heavier SUVs and battery-powered electric cars, non-exhaust emissions are a very serious problem,” Lofthouse added.