Environ Pollut. 2022 Aug 19:119974. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2022.119974. Online ahead of print.
The interest in tire wear particles (TWPs), generated from abrasion of tires, have gained traction over the past few years, both in regards to quantifying particulate emissions, leaching of different compounds, toxicity, and analytical methods. The life of a tire, from cradle to end-of-life, crosses over different scenarios during its lifetime and transcends environmental compartments and legislative areas, underlining the need for a collective approach. Sustainability for a tire encompasses the use of raw materials, recycling of raw materials, circular economy and material sourcing. The tire industry is currently making significant efforts towards a greener and more sustainable production considering reduction of CO2-emissions, recycling, material sources and implementing the use of biomass from plants rather than oil-derived alternatives. In this paper, we aim to analyze and discuss the need for environmental regulation of tires in order to provide a series of targeted recommendations for future legislation. Our study shows that the numerous regulations related to tires focus on chemicals, manufacturing, raw materials, use of tires on roads, waste handling, safety and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in different life cycle stages of a tire. However, none directly addresses the contribution of TWPs to the environment. Despite the overall good intentions of the existing regulations, there is a lack of focus on the compounds that partition from the tire and disperse in the environment, their mixture effects, and the transformative products from the parent compounds in the environment. Therefore, a renewed focus is needed on risk assessment of complex mixtures like TWPs. Thus, transparency in regard to use of chemicals in TWP, mixtures, minimization of emissions, and capture of particulate pollution should be a priority.