Brussels – The UK government last week called for “urgent action” to tackle pollution caused my microparticles generated by vehicle brakes and tires (ERJ report).
The call was based on a study by the ‘air quality expert group’ (AQEG), predicting that these sources will account for 10% of UK emissions of PM 2.5 particles – those of diameter less than 2.5 micrometres – by 2030.
In response, the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) on 12 July issued the following statement:
As a responsible industry committed to a clean environment and safe roads, the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) welcomes recent research by the Air Quality Expert Group (AQEG) on non-exhaust emissions.
We are carefully reviewing AQEG’s report and share the Expert Group’s views on the need for further scientific understanding of non-exhaust emissions, including tyre and road wear particles (TRWP).
Their recommendation to address the current knowledge gaps is in agreement with the objectives of the European TRWP Platform, which brings together stakeholders from all relevant sectors to share scientific research, increase understanding and co-design TRWP mitigation options.
ETRMA also supports AQEG’s recommendation of further inquiry into the feasibility of a standardised test method for measuring tyre abrasion rate, which is currently being looked into by the European Commission with support of Industry. However, as mentioned by the report, the tyre industry’s efforts alone will not be enough to address the TRWP challenge.
AQEG, therefore, also proposes – and ETRMA fully agrees – that the debate considers both tyre design and the diverse external factors at play when finding solutions for reducing TRWP generation, such as driving behaviour, vehicle and road characteristics and traffic conditions.
ETRMA notes that AQEG has largely based its results on laboratory tests carried out in the 1990s. Furthermore, the Group itself has recognised that these tests are no longer scientifically robust, which highlights the need for additional research.
ETRMA, therefore, would like to bring to their attention the results of more recent peer-reviewed research regarding the nature, size, density and dispersion of TRWP.
For example, the Tire Industry Project (TIP) conducted a sampling of urban and suburban environment to evaluate the presence of TRWP in airborne particulate matter. It concluded that dust from tyres only makes up a very small concentration of the total dust particles in the air (on average, less than 1% of PM10 and PM2.5ii) because TRWP are physically larger and denser than other airborne PM emissions.
The European tyre industry is committed to the sustainability of its products. We are continuously improving the composition and structure of tyres to enhance performance and durability. In addition to the cross-industry collaboration initiated through the TRWP Platform, ETRMA welcomes further collaboration and research on the topic to increase understanding and inform solutions.
For more information on tyre and road wear as well as industry initiatives, please visit:
https://www.tyreandroadwear.com/ and contact us at [email protected] .