It is common knowledge that tires wear during normal use but questions remain about the characteristics of tire wear particles, what happens to the particles once generated, and if the particles pose potential risks to human health and the environment.
TIP has been working since 2005 to support scientific research and method development to help improve scientific understanding of the physical and chemical characteristics of TRWP and has conducted risk assessments that have contributed to a better understanding of the potential impacts of TRWP on human health and the environment.
TRWP are a mixture of tire tread and road pavement material produced by the friction between tires and the road surface. Research has found that most TRWP are expected to be deposited on roadside soil and that TRWP are unlikely to negatively impact human health and the environment; however, this is a relatively new field of research and TIP is engaged in continued studies in collaboration with multiple institutions to improve scientific understanding of the environmental fate and potential risks associated with TRWP.
Understanding the potential health and environmental impacts of TRWP remains a TIP priority. A full list of TIP sponsored peer reviewed studies is available via www.wbcsd.org/tip.
TRWP mitigation requires the engagement of multiple stakeholders to consider relevant factors such as driving behavior, road and vehicle characteristics, tire design, transport infrastructure design and the presence or capacity of wastewater treatment plants.
The European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA) – with the facilitation of CSR Europe – launched a multistakeholder TRWP initiative in 2018: the European TRWP Platform. The platform brings together representatives from governments, academia, non-governmental organizations and different industries for open dialogue. It aims to share scientific knowledge of the potential effects of particles generated during normal tire use and wear and co-design TRWP mitigation solutions. www.tyreandroadwear.com