Dunlop explains why tyre fires are bad

The recent tyre blaze in Salford, UK released a remarkable trail of smoke which disrupted train services and impelled a warning for nearby residents to close their windows, doors and other such openings in the home for safety and health reasons. Although the blaze was horrid, fire-fighters quickly came over the issue and brought things back in control.

News of wildfires and other such have been hot for a few months whereas tyre-based blaze further heat things up. Not to mention the demerits of it on overall health and environment. Here’s what Falken tyres has to say!

What happens when a tyre is burnt?

Modern tyres are built following advanced industry standards and with incredible technology. To get the job well done, more than 200 different raw materials are used in construction and primary element is rubber. That said; a typical passenger car tyre includes 30 variants of synthetic and around 8 of natural rubber.

Most of the chemicals used in manufacturing are combustible which is obvious as tyres emit significant amount of heat when burned. In many countries around the world, they’re used as a fuel source. Take for instance pottery kilns in West Asia and Middle East that use tyre waste when traditional fuel cost is higher than average.

No doubt, burning so many chemicals releases toxic compounds in high concentration. When burned, here’s a list of harmful substances a tyre produces;

  • Carbon monoxide
  • Nitrogen oxides
  • Sulphur oxides
  • Particulates
  • Hydrogen chloride
  • Benzene
  • Dioxins
  • Polynuclear Aromatic Hydrocarbons
  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Metals like chromium, cadmium, vanadium and mercury

The list can be extended but you probably get the idea. All of these chemicals pose long-lasting and serious health problems including cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer and respiratory issues.

The oil problem

Besides all these harmful chemicals, burning tyres also release significant amount of oil vapours. The US Environmental Protection Agency has estimated that a burning tyre releases approximately 250 millilitres of so we can say a million tyres when set ablaze either deliberately or unintentionally can produce around 55,000 gallons of excess oil. Apart from being unpleasant stuff, it’s downright damaging for the environment. The worst case scenario is when extinguishing attempts are made where water only disperses the oil thus extending the damage circle.

Megafire incidents

Tyre fire; even the smallest one pose considerable public and environmental risk but things can worsen exponentially with megafires. When tyre waste is dumped or stored somewhere in bulk, there’s always a potential for fire and once triggered, it’s nearly impossible to douse it. The best examples and most notable incidents in history were of;

  • Heyope tyre fire in Knighton, Wales 1989 when a group of arsonists started the fire which went beyond control of fire-fighters. More than 10-million tyres caught fire and the smouldering remained even 15 years later, that is till 2004.
  • Rinehart, West Virginia 1983 when more than seven million tyres caught fire and burned for approximately nine months. EPA cleaning efforts however remained incomplete till 2002.

Buying premium-grade Dunlop tyres can make a difference since they’re manufactured with latest industry standards which complements to a safe and green environment.

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