Rubber pollution

Rubber pollution, similar to plastic pollution, can and does occur on various scales and in various environments, from sources in the food industry processing chain to the general environment due to tire wear.[1][2] As early as 1974, it was reported that ‘tire industry scientists estimated that 600,000 metric tonnes of tire dust were released by tire wear in the U.S., or about 3 kilograms of dust released from each tire each year’. The situation has worsened ever since.[3] 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. Besides rubber from tires, the sources can be artificial turf[4] and rubber O-rings and seals [1]. Although not immediately visible to the naked eye, tire dust makes up a significant portion of road debris.[5][6] 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.

See also


  1. 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. Burrowes, Robert J. (2018-02-26). "Junk Planet: Is Earth the Largest Garbage Dump in the Universe?". Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  3. "Artificial turf may have health drawbacks". KPCNews. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2019-07-23.
  4. 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...
  5. 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. 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.
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