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.[1][2] 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.[3]


See also: Non-exhaust emissions

Tire wear is a major source of rubber pollution.[4][5][6] A concern is that, unlike exhaust emissions, vehicle tire wear pollution is not regulated.[6] 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.[7][8][9] Although not immediately visible to the naked eye, tire dust makes up a significant portion of road debris.[10][11]

Other sources can be artificial turf[12] and rubber O-rings and seals.[1]


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.[13]

See also


  1. ^ a b Leeuw, Sarah de (2017-06-23). "Prevent Rubber Contamination in Food Processing Environments". Process Industry Informer. Retrieved 2019-07-23. [2016] 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)
  2. ^ Tamis, Jacqueline E.; Koelmans, Albert A.; Dröge, Rianne; Kaag, Nicolaas H. B. M.; Keur, Marinus C.; Tromp, Peter C.; Jongbloed, Ruud H. (2021-07-02). "Environmental risks of car tire microplastic particles and other road runoff pollutants". Microplastics and Nanoplastics. 1 (1): 10. doi:10.1186/s43591-021-00008-w. ISSN 2662-4966. S2CID 237303583.
  3. ^ Tyre and road wear particles (TRWP) - A review of generation, properties, emissions, human health risk, ecotoxicity, and fate in the environment
  4. ^ Pollution warning over car tyre and brake dust
  5. ^ a b Emissions Analytics finds pollution from tire wear can be 1,000x worse than exhaust emissions
  7. ^ The Tyre Collective at Dyson
  8. ^ The Tyre Collective website
  9. ^ Theodoros Grigoratos and Giorgio Martini (2014). "Non-exhaust traffic related emissions. Brake and tyre wear PM" (PDF). European Commission Joint Research Centre Institute of Energy and Transport. 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.
  10. ^ Kole, Pieter Jan; Löhr, Ansje J.; Van Belleghem, Frank; Ragas, Ad (2017-10-20). "Wear and Tear of Tyres: A Stealthy Source of Microplastics in the Environment". International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. MDPI AG. 14 (10): 1265. doi:10.3390/ijerph14101265. ISSN 1660-4601. PMC 5664766. PMID 29053641. 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.
  11. ^ "Artificial turf may have health drawbacks". KPCNews. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  12. ^ "Tire dust killing coho salmon returning to Puget Sound, new research shows". The Seattle Times.