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Studded winter tires may lead to diseases, researchers say

Posted On Thu, January 6, 2011

Studded winter tires provide an extra level of protection from physical injury while on the roadways, but they may be setting drivers up for disease down the road.

According to a new study conducted by researchers from Sweden, studded winter tires may cause respiratory or heart-related diseases in men and women due to the amount of asphalt that spews into the air when studded tires strike the pavement.

Researchers made the link when tests showed that there were molecular changes to cells after inhaling dust containing graphite, reminiscent of the molecular changes seen in people with heart and respiratory diseases.

The study is published in the monthly journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States and the highest health cost, totaling $286 billion in lost productivity and treatment expenses according to a report published in the online edition of the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Studies like these serve as a stark reminder that life insurance is as important as car insurance, particularly in the winter months, when car accidents and studded tire use are at their highest.

In states like Illinois, Minnesota and Maryland, studded tires are outright banned. In others, like the Dakotas, Massachusetts and Michigan, there are seasonal restrictions.

 

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