Why You May Be Breathing In Tire Particle Waste, And What To Do About It
Tire Particle Waste: We all know that tires have to be replaced every so often, but have you ever wondered where the particles go? A new study from the European Commission highlights the negative impact that tire wear down is having on air quality. Today we will explore air pollution and ways to mitigate its effects on your health.
Tire Particle Waste: Air-bound Tires
Most people can at least conceptualize car emissions’ impact on air quality. Still, a recent European Commission review explored the other types of pollution caused by road traffic. Their findings included the fact that 10-30 percent of tire material is lost as they wear out, and unfortunately, not all of that is left on the road. Some of these particles are indeed small enough to be inhaled, adding to the toxicity of urban air.
Cars are heavier than ever, meaning that there is more pressure on tires and inevitably more wear. Unfortunately, there are no emission controls when it comes to tire pollution, and so the impact that this pollutant is having on our health isn’t being correctly measured or controlled.
Air Pollution and Human Health
Air pollution is caused by many sources, far beyond vehicles’ impact. Mobile sources extend to cars, buses, planes, trucks, and trains. Some stationary sources include power plants, industrial facilities, oil refineries, and factories. Area sources include cities, wood-burning fireplaces, and agricultural commerce. Finally, there are also natural sources of air pollution, like dust, volcanoes, and wildfires.
The impact of air pollution has been linked to over 200,000 premature deaths in the U.S. each year. The Environmental Protection Agency highlights cars as one of the primary sources of this pollution.
Air pollution can permanently affect our health, including accelerated lung aging. A decrease in lung capacity can drastically impact the quality of life, and lung aging is also linked to diseases like asthma, pulmonary disease, emphysema, bronchitis, and even cancer.
Unsurprisingly, the tire industry has barked back at claims that tire wear hurts human health. The Tire Industry Project is a board chaired by three major tire manufacturers, Michelin, Bridgestone, and Goodyear. They claim to be investigating the impact of tire and road wear particles (TRWP), but their peer-reviewed studies highlight the fact that these TRWP present no significant risk to humans and the environment.
The validity of these studies is something to be suspicious of, reminiscent of the studies highlighting the safety of smoking (sponsored by the tobacco industry) and the safety of refined sugar (sponsored by companies like Coca-Cola).
Tire Particle Waste: Mitigating the Impact
Air pollution is a multifaceted problem with a wide range of inputs. The move towards electric vehicles significantly impacts gas and diesel emissions but does nothing to reduce the effects of tire and road wear particle emissions. When it comes to lowering tire particles in the air, you can make sure that your tires are properly inflated.
When driving in heavy traffic, the best option is to keep windows closed and hit the recycled air button to ensure that outside air isn’t penetrating the vehicle. Keeping the recycled air button on is especially important when driving in a tunnel, but it should mainly be done anytime you’re driving on a highway or in stop-and-go traffic.
Some other things you can do to cut your exposure to air pollution and tire particle waste include:
- Filter the air inside your home (using air-purifying plants like peace lilies and HEPA air filters)
- Avoid smoking/ being around smokers
- Minimize the use of wood-burning fireplaces, especially indoors
- Minimize your pollution footprint (conserve energy, carpool, ride a bicycle, mulch, and compost, turn the lights off, and use environmentally safe products like paint and cleaning products)
- Avoid living near highways or busy roads
Clearing your lungs can be done using steam therapy (ensure the water is adequately filtered), draining mucus, using a neti-pot, exercising, and eating a nutritious anti-inflammatory diet.
Tire Particle Waste: Summary
Road wear on tires is causing airborne particles to pollute the oxygen that we breathe. Air pollution is a significant cause of premature deaths in the U.S. every year. It is caused by a wide range of inputs, including mobile sources, industry sources, area sources, and natural causes. Protecting your environment to mitigate these risks includes making environmentally-conscious decisions, keeping your windows closed while driving on busy roads, and ideally not living near them either.
Detox From Airborne Pollutants
One of the best ways to detox airborne pollutants that go into your blood and gut is with a form of super-activated charcoal, the central ingredient in a product called BIND. BIND contains specialized, powerful humates (humic and fulvic acids) – for additional detox and remineralization support—along with key botanicals that effectively bind toxins and prevent retoxification. BIND serves as a master drainage formula that attracts toxins… including those particles from tires that move from your lungs to other parts of your body. Binds them so they can’t be reabsorbed and escorts them out of the body. Besides the super-activated charcoal that absorbs up to 300 times its weight in toxins.
BIND contains a wide array of potent toxin fighters, including:
- Cascara Sagrada brings water into your intestines and dilutes the toxic load…
- Apple and Flax provide beneficial fiber for elimination…
- Probiotics, for added to support leaky gut…
- Humic acids help smothers viruses and prevent their attachment to cell membranes…
- Humates, which provide over 70 plant-sourced trace minerals…
All of this is essential because toxicity and the detox process both deplete you of minerals… and you need to replenish them. BIND is alkaline, which gives it a negative ion charge. This causes it to electromagnetically binds with positively charged toxins (heavy metals and airborne particles, like those from tires).
Grigoratos, Theodoros, and Giorgio Martini. “Non-Exhaust Traffic-Related Emissions. Brake and Tyre Wear PM.” European Commission Science and Policy Reports, 2014, https://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC89231/jrc89231-online final version 2.pdf.
Fuller, Gary. “The Polluting Effect of Wear and Tear in Brakes and Tyres.” The Guardian, Guardian News, and Media, 11 Sept. 2016, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/sep/11/polluting-effect-wear-brakes-tyres-pollutionwatch.
How Air Pollution Contributes to Lung Disease, PSR: Physicians for Social Responsibility, https://www.psr.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/air-pollution-effects-respiratory.pdf.
Kukutschová, Jana, and Peter Filip. “Review of Brake Wear Emissions.” Non-Exhaust Emissions, 2018, pp. 123–146., doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-811770-5.00006-6.
Laumbach, Robert J., and Howard M. Kipen. “Respiratory Health Effects of Air Pollution: Update on Biomass Smoke and Traffic Pollution.” Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, vol. 129, no. 1, 2012, pp. 3–11., doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2011.11.021.
“Research on Near Roadway and Other Near Source Air Pollution.” EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, 18 Oct. 2018, https://www.epa.gov/air-research/research-near-roadway-and-other-near-source-air-pollution.