Regulatory Gap Stifles Pollution Control
Tap your brakes, and the pads shed the slightest bit of copper.
Peel out on the road, and your tires leave behind traces of zinc that hang in the air.
Through the Cracks
- The Issue: Scientists are beginning to better understand the role air pollutants play in contaminating watersheds. But no regulations govern the sources: car tires and brakes.
- What it Means:No one is sure whose responsibility the pollution prevention should be. Air regulators say it is a water problem. Water regulators say it is a local government problem. Local governments say it is a federal government problem.
- The Bigger Picture: The state isn't regulating the sources, but is requiring local governments such as the city of San Diego to reduce the pollution. State officials acknowledge the issue has fallen into a regulatory gap, but haven't yet fixed it.
Haven’t Car’s been getting cleaner?
It’s true that what comes out of tailpipes is cleaner. The problem is there has been huge growth in the number of cars and miles driven. This growth means that pollution from cars overall is much more than you’d expect.
Researchers say tires, principally radials, spew billions of these particles into the atmosphere every day.
That is alarming, they say, because latex, the key ingredient of rubber, can trigger severe, even fatal, allergic reactions and aggravate allergic reactions to other substances.
Many of these airborne particles are so small they can be inhaled deeply into lungs. That makes them a potential threat to people susceptible to asthma.
"Radial tires are great, but if they're making us sick, we'd better do something about it," Mr. Portnoy said. "It's a concern, because asthma is an epidemic and it's getting worse."
The East Bay Children’s Respiratory Health Study Traffic-Related Air Pollution Near Busy Roads
We are working with vehicle emissions, but this will not reduce re entrained particles. Ambient air monitors typically do not monitor direct impact of traffic.
Ultrafine particles in emissions found to cause heart disease
Unregulated pollutants play important role in the development of conditions such as atherosclerosis
By Michael Wozny
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Sources of Coarse Particulate Matter
Coarse particulate matter comes from both direct , or primary, and indirect, or secondary, sources. Primary sources include dust from paved and unpaved roads, industrial materials, brake linings, tire residues, trace metals and bioaerosols, such as pollen. Secondary particulate matter can be formed through complex reactions in the atmosphere when, for example, gas-phase byproducts of combustion, such as hydrocarbons, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides from automobiles, power plants and industries mix together with sunlight.
Many adverse health effects of coarse particle pollution seem to be induced by oxidative damage in cells, which weakens the body’s ability to produce antioxidants and maintain a healthy metabolism,” Sioutas said. “The effects still aren’t completely understood, but some of the newest studies suggest that these larger, coarser particles of pollution can cause inflammation in the nose, lungs and cardiovascular system.”
Studies have shown that reduced lung function makes it harder for people to fight off infections and cope with allergens, as well as to extract needed oxygen from each breath.