UK Study: Brake Dust Impacting Kids’ Lung Development

DETROIT,Mich.–The lung development of children could be adversely affected by the release of microplastics from car tires and brake dust, according to U.K. news report and a study from Kings College.

Toxic particles emitted from all vehicles including exhaust fumes, metalized rubber, and brake dust, are contributing to poor air quality in cities, a study for Channel 4‘s Dispatches has discovered.

The findings came from an experiment conducted by scientists from King’s College London (KCL).

Air pollution is linked to the early deaths of about 40,000 people a year in the UK and causes problems like heart and lung disease and asthma.

Professor Frank Kelly, of KCL, said: “We know that some of the components from brake wear, together with micro-plastics from tyres, will be irritating and causing reactions in the lung, which over time would not be good for our health.

He added: “We have not known about this issue. This is a new finding.”

The adverse impact of brake dust and tire plastics has been known for some time, and regulators have been moving to create standards for the future. And companies have been innovating new solutions to reduce and capture brake dust. But the link to lung development of children is new.

According to the Kings College study, one in three children are breathing unsafe air and the modern car tyre is now around 50 percent plastic.

The Dispatches report monitored 50 pupils at Lordship Lane Primary School in Haringey, north London, and found they were exposed to high levels of nitrogen dioxide, an inflammatory pollutant.

Measures including planting hedges around the school, fitting mesh on windows and installing an air-purifier in classrooms led to a drop in nitrogen dioxide exposure by around one-fifth, it said.

Around 9,000 Londoners die prematurely because of polluted air, according to the Mayor’s Office.

The Brake Report
The Brake Report

The BRAKE Report is an online media platform dedicated to the automotive and commercial vehicle brake segments. Our mission is to provide the global brake community with the latest news & headlines from around the industry.