Electric cars will not eliminate fine dust pollution caused by tyres and brakes

Researchers from the University of Malta showed that only 3.4% of particulate matter (PM10) originated from car exhaust pipes. Dust caused by tyre and brake friction is an overlooked reality that will not go away with electric vehicles.

Particulate matter is finely divided solids or liquids that are dispersed through the air via a combustion process, industrial activity or natural process. They are microscopic particles that remain suspended in the air.

Exposure to such particles can affect both lungs and the heart. Numerous scientific studies have linked particle pollution exposure to a variety of problems, including premature death in people with heart or lung disease.

The researchers found that non-exhaust emissions contributed to 35% of the particulate matter collected in their experiment on Malta’s roads.