Brake dust pollution 'as harmful to health as diesel'

New research finds brake dust has a “worrying” effect on health, with potentially “important policy implications” given it makes up a larger proportion of traffic pollution than exhaust fumes.

When cars brake, they release metallic dust into the air. According to scientists behind the study, these particles stop vital immune cells from doing their job of protecting our lungs and lead to a greater risk of bacterial infections such as coughs, colds, pneumonia and bronchitis. 

The UK-based research group was surprised to find that the brake dust had similar effects as diesel fumes, which typically receive more attention. 

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