CSEI Director contributes to ground-breaking report on Tyre Wear Pollution


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CSEI Director contributes to ground-breaking report on Tyre Wear Pollution

CSEI Director Dr Ana Mijic is one of the co-authors of a new important report on the health hazards represented by tyre wear particles (TWP). The multidisciplinary group of experts including engineers, ecologists, medics, and air quality analysts from Imperial College London’s Transition to Zero Pollution initiative warn that even though electric vehicles remove the problem of fuel emissions, they will not solve the problem of particulate matter because of tyre wear.

This is because particles from car tyres are dispersed in the environment and, hence, in the air we breathe or the water we use. Small particles separate from tyres as cars travel, become airborne and can be inhaled deep into the lungs. Larger particles of tyre wear are washed or blown into rivers and seas becoming a significant component of the plastic pollution we are trying to tackle.

The chemicals contained in TWP have a devastating impact on wildlife, and they accumulate into the food chain where they will ultimately pose a significant risk. The Imperial College London report says 6m tonnes of tyre wear particles are released globally each year. Given the seriousness of the problem, the report calls for as much investment into tyre wear research as there is for reducing carbon emissions.

Policymakers and scientists alike should set out an ambitious research agenda to investigate the problem in a holistic way, from how and why tyres wear and how this affects people and nature, to potential solutions, including particle capture technologies, new advanced materials and innovative business models. This would enable us to limit the harmful impact of tyre wear particles on our health, water and air.

The report is free to download here.

If you would like to hear more about CSEI’s research, contact our Research and Engagement Manager Dr Jeni Giambona, j.giambona@imperial.ac.uk, or visit our Get Involved page.

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Jeni Giambona

Jeni Giambona
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Contact details

Email: j.giambona@imperial.ac.uk

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