There is a new menace on the roads that could harm our health - brake pads. Scientists have discovered that toxic dust and metal particles from brake pads could have the same harmful impact on our bodies as diesel emissions. Researchers found that fine dust released when a vehicle brakes could cause inflammation of the lungs, reduced immunity, an increased risk of respiratory problems, and serious infections like bronchitis or pneumonia. It is estimated that 93 per cent of particulate pollution from traffic comes from tyres, clutches, brake pads, and road dust.
The scientists say brake dust could be causing what they dubbed as "London throat". Sufferers continually experience runny noses and annoying coughs and colds, which could be caused by inhaling brake dust. Metal particles coat the lungs and prevent cells in our immune system from clearing harmful bacteria. A researcher said dust from break pads and tyres, etc. casts doubt on motor industry claims of zero-emission cars. He said: "There is no such thing as a zero-emission vehicle." He warned that brake dust and other pollutants are, "likely to become more significant".