Winter Tires Cause Health Problems, Swedish Medical Researchers Claim


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At a time when Sweden will soon get hit with its usual seasonal winter weather, medical researchers are asking for a ban against winter tires.

In the 1960s, these tires were first introduced to consumers in the United States. Metal studs inserted into the tire were made to enhance the friction on slippery roads, particularly those covered in snow or ice.

Tire companies such as, Nokian, Michelin, and Bridgestone, manufacture some of the most popular brands.

However, these tires have come to develop a pretty bad reputation. Now, winter tires seem to be very damaging to roads and hazardous for drivers.

In a report by, it states how winter tires during the drier seasons have been costly for taxpayers due to its tear on the road.

“The studs were designed to use the vehicle's weight and centrifugal forces to provide more ice traction as they repeatedly chipped into the driving surface. However, when the road wasn't covered with snow or ice, tire studs noisily chipped into the road itself…Additionally as studded tires chip into the concrete, they eventually cut ruts in the road that will fill with water to create a hydroplaning hazard when it rains.”

Aside from safety issues, Sweden’s MAIN concern is the health risk the tires produce. According to medical investigation, researchers assert that the chipping away of the road increases “…the amount of harmful particles in the air, leading to an increase in cardiac, vascular and pulmonary diseases.”

In 2011, a scientific study in the Chemical Research in Toxicology journal concluded that studded winter tires presented similar health risks, as reported today.

Countries like, Japan and Germany have banned the slip-resistant tires. State regulations prohibit winter tires in places such as, Texas, Alabama, Florida, and Maryland, while other states have minor seasonal restrictions.

Along with Finland, Sweden has always been listed as one of the countries to substantially use winter tires.

In the video below, Tire Rack visit Northern Sweden to test different tires that are best for winter time traction.

Image Credit:  Youtube, Phillip O'Connor