Around 97% of all micro-rubber particles in the environment originate from tyre abrasion. But where does it go?
The tread on the tyre is worn out, new tyres are needed. Everyday life for many drivers. But where do these lost centimetres of tyre tread "disappear" to? As micro-rubbers, they mainly end up in soil and water and, to a small extent, in the air. And the amount of these particles in our environment is anything but small, as Empa researchers have now calculated.
Everybody is talking about microplastics. But the amount of microplastics in air and water is small compared to another polymer that pollutes our air and water - and therefore our organism: Micro rubber. These are the finest particles from tyre abrasion, which enter our soil and air via the road surface or are removed by artificial turf. Empa researchers have now calculated that over the last 30 years, from 1988 to 2018, around 200,000 tonnes of micro rubber have accumulated in our environment in Switzerland. This is an impressive figure that has often been neglected in the discussions on microplastics.
Continue reading at Empa
Image via Empa