Urban air quality: The challenge of traffic non-exhaust emissions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Fulvio Amato
  • Flemming R. Cassee
  • Hugo A C Denier van der Gon
  • Robert Gehrig
  • Mats Gustafsson
  • Wolfgang Hafner
  • Magdalena Jozwicka
  • Frank J. Kelly
  • Teresa Moreno
  • Andre S H Prevot
  • Martijn Schaap
  • Jordi Sunyer
  • Xavier Querol

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • King's College London
  • National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM)
  • Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research, TNO
  • King Abdulaziz University
  • Empa
  • Empa, Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology
  • Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute
  • National Centre for Atmospheric Science
  • MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health
  • Laboratory of Atmospheric Chemistry, Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI)
  • King Abdulaziz University
  • Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences
  • Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research, Spanish Research Council (IDÆA-CSIC)
  • Centre for Sustainability and Environmental Health
  • Utrecht University
  • Air and Sustainability
  • Department of Environmental Protection, Municipality of Klagenfurt on Lake Worthersee
  • Paul Scherrer Institut
  • Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology


About 400,000 premature adult deaths attributable to air pollution occur each year in the European Region. Road transport emissions account for a significant share of this burden. While important technological improvements have been made for reducing particulate matter (PM) emissions from motor exhausts, no actions are currently in place to reduce the non-exhaust part of emissions such as those from brake wear, road wear, tyre wear and road dust resuspension. These "non-exhaust" sources contribute easily as much and often more than the tailpipe exhaust to the ambient air PM concentrations in cities, and their relative contribution to ambient PM is destined to increase in the future, posing obvious research and policy challenges.This review highlights the major and more recent research findings in four complementary fields of research and seeks to identify the current gaps in research and policy with regard to non-exhaust emissions. The objective of this article is to encourage and direct future research towards an improved understanding on the relationship between emissions, concentrations, exposure and health impact and on the effectiveness of potential remediation measures in the urban environment.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-36
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Hazardous Materials
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2014


  • Brake, Health effects, Mitigation, Policy, Road dust, Tyre