Rubber pollution, similar to plastic pollution, occurs in various environments, and originates from a variety of sources, ranging from the food industry processing chain to tire wear. Synthetic and natural rubber dust and fragments now occur in food, airborne as particulates in air pollution, hidden in the earth as soil pollution, and in waterways, lakes and the sea.
Tire wear is a major source of rubber pollution. A concern hereby is that vehicle tire wear pollution (which is part of non-exhaust emissions or NEEs) are completely unregulated, unlike exhaust emissions. Some devices are nonetheless being developed in an effort to reduce the amount of particulates coming from the tire and otherwise ending up in the atmosphere.
Besides rubber from tires however, the sources can be artificial turf and rubber O-rings and seals. Although not immediately visible to the naked eye, tire dust makes up a significant portion of road debris.
Very fine rubber dust particles can depending on the classification be counted among microplastic (because rubber is just another polymer) or separately (because its constituent monomers, the required additives, and the type of chemical bond mesh is slightly different). In a similar vein, rubber pollution is often implicitly mentioned when plastic pollution is addressed.
6PPD-quinone, an antiozonant used in rubber tires, has been found to kill salmon when it accumulates into waterways from tire wear pollution.
 there was a significant increase in the number of recorded recalls of food products contaminated with rubber, a 22% surge compared to 2015. (Source: US market, Food Safety Magazine)
All that rubber that gets worn off your tires has to go somewhere. And according to her research, a lot of it winds up in lakes, streams, and rivers.
It is estimated that an average passenger vehicle tyre lasts for 40,000-50,000 km before it is worn out, with approximately 10-30% of its tread rubber emitted into the environment. ... A wide range of chemicals can be found in vehicle tyres, depending on required performance standards and the manufacturing company. It has been reported that a common-sized all season passenger commercial tyre contains approximately 30 kinds of synthetic rubber, 8 kinds of natural rubber, 8 kinds of carbon black, steel cord for belts, polyester and nylon fibre, steel bead wire and 40 different chemicals, waxes, oils, pigments, silica and clays.
Wear and tear from tyres significantly contributes to the flow of (micro-)plastics into the environment. ... The estimated per capita emission ranges from 0.23 to 4.7 kg/year, with a global average of 0.81 kg/year.