CHESAPEAKE BAY, Md. (Oct. 13, 2011)—The level of tire and road wear particles in the air and in sediment does not have adverse effects on people's health or pose an environmental risk, according to results from an international research project launched in 2005.
CEOs from 11 of the world's leading tire companies met Oct. 7 outside Washington, D.C., to review the progress of the Tire Industry Project, which was formed under the umbrella of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development to identify and address potential health and environmental concerns of materials associated with tire making and use.
The project, which represents about 70 percent of the world's tire manufacturing capacity, found no adverse effects from inhalation exposure and that the concentration of tire and road wear particles in air and sediment were well below toxic levels.
Extensive toxicity testing of rubber particles in water, sediment and the air has been completed, and preliminary results will be presented at upcoming scientific conferences, according to TIP. Environmental sampling for particles was conducted in locations such as the Seine River watershed in France; Chesapeake Bay watershed in the U.S.; and the Yodo River watershed in Japan.
At the meeting, the CEOs approved the development of an industry-specific best-practices guide for the research, development and industrialization of nanomaterials, which could benefit consumers and the environment by increasing fuel efficiency and durability and reducing greenhouse gas emissions and tire weight, according to a TIP press release.
TIP is exploring the development of the guide in collaboration with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development. The Paris-based group works to analyze and compare data to predict future trends and set international standards.
Tire companies participating in TIP include: Bridgestone Corp.; Continental A.G.; Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.; Goodyear; Hankook Tire Co. Ltd.; Kumho Tire Co. Inc.; Group Michelin; Pirelli & C. S.p.A.; Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd.; Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd.; and Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd.