Evidence of non-tailpipe emission contributions to PM2.5 and PM10 near southern California highways

Environ Pollut. 2023 Jan 15:317:120691. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2022.120691. Epub 2022 Nov 23.


Particulate Matter (PM) concentrations near highways are influenced by vehicle tailpipe and non-tailpipe emissions, other emission sources, and urban background aerosols. This study collected PM2.5 and PM10 filter samples near two southern California highways (I-5 and I-710) over two weeks in winter 2020. Samples were analyzed for chemical source markers. Mean PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations were approximately 10-15 and 30 μg/m3, respectively. Organic matter, mineral dust, and elemental carbon (EC) were the most abundant PM components. EC and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons at I-710 were 19-26% and 47% higher than those at the I-5 sites, respectively, likely due to a larger proportion of diesel vehicles. High correlations were found for elements with common sources, such as markers for brake wear (e.g., Fe, Ba, Cu, and Zr) and road dust (e.g., Al, Si, Ca, and Mn). Based on rubber abundances, the contributions of tire tread particles to PM2.5 and PM10 mass were approximately 8.0% at I-5 and 5.5% at I-710. Two different tire brands showed significantly different Si, Zn, carbon, and natural rubber abundances.

Keywords: Brake wear; Near-road; Non-tailpipe emission; PM; Resuspended dust; Tire wear.

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants* / analysis
  • California
  • Dust / analysis
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Particle Size
  • Particulate Matter* / analysis
  • Vehicle Emissions / analysis


  • Particulate Matter
  • Air Pollutants
  • Vehicle Emissions
  • Dust