Review of recent studies and policies addressing non-combustion particulate matter emissions from break, tyre and road wear


For both the road and the non-road transport sectors, emissions of key air pollutants caused by combustion of fossil fuels have decreased significantly over the last two decades, although passenger as well as freight transport volumes first increased and then stayed relatively constant. However, the relative importance of non-combustion pollutants emitted via vehicles, i.e. non-exhaust emissions, has increased. This includes emissions of break wear, tyre wear and road wear.

Within the European Topic Centre on Air Pollution, Transport, Noise and Industrial Pollution (ETC/ATNI), contracted by the European Environment Agency (EEA), Transport & Mobility Leuven and NILU prepared a working paper that provides:

  • A review of recent studies/publications on (improving) emission inventories covering non-exhaust PM emissions from on-road and off-road vehicles;

  • A short assessment of how the relative contributions of exhaust and non-exhaust emissions have developed over time; 

  • A review of recent studies/publications on the contribution from tyres, break and road wear to emissions of micro plastics to the atmosphere. This included data collection on the faction of the PM levels that could consist of micro plastics.

  • A summary of EU and other policies developed, implemented, or planned that aim at reducing PM emissions of break wear, tyre wear, and road wear.




European Environment Agency (EEA)


NILU (coordinator of the ETC/ATNI-consortium) and ETC/ATNI-partners

Our team

Inge Mayeres, Kris Vanherle
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