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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/25700

Title: Wear and Tear of Tyres: A Stealthy Source of Microplastics in the Environment
Authors: Kole, Pieter Jan
Löhr, Ansje J.
Van Belleghem, Frank
Ragas, Ad M. J.
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: MDPI AG
Abstract: Wear and tear from tyres significantly contributes to the flow of (micro-) plastics into the environment. This paper compiles the fragmented knowledge on tyre wear and tear characteristics, amounts of particles emitted, pathways in the environment, and the possible effects on humans. The estimated per capita emission ranges from 0.23 to 4.7 kg/year, with a global average of 0.81 kg/year. The emissions from car tyres (100%) are substantially higher than those of other sources of microplastics, e.g., airplane tyres (2%), artificial turf (12-50%), brake wear (8%) and road markings (5%). Emissions and pathways depend on local factors like road type or sewage systems. The relative contribution of tyre wear and tear to the total global amount of plastics ending up in our oceans is estimated to be 5-10%. In air, 3-7% of the particulate matter (PM2.5) is estimated to consist of tyre wear and tear, indicating that it may contribute to the global health burden of air pollution which has been projected by the World Health Organization (WHO) at 3 million deaths in 2012. The wear and tear also enters our food chain, but further research is needed to assess human health risks. It is concluded here that tyre wear and tear is a stealthy source of microplastics in our environment, which can only be addressed effectively if awareness increases, knowledge gaps on quantities and effects are being closed, and creative technical solutions are being sought. This requires a global effort from all stakeholders; consumers, regulators, industry and researchers alike.
Notes: [Kole, Pieter Jan; Lohr, Ansje J.; Van Belleghem, Frank G. A. J.; Ragas, Ad M. J.] Open Univ Netherlands, Dept Sci, Fac Management Sci & Technol, NL-6419 AT Heerlen, Netherlands. [Van Belleghem, Frank G. A. J.] Hasselt Univ, Ctr Environm Sci, Zool Biodivers & Toxicol, BE-3590 Diepenbeek, Belgium. [Ragas, Ad M. J.] Radboud Univ Nijmegen, Inst Water & Wetland Res, Fac Sci, NL-6525 AJ Nijmegen, Netherlands.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/25700
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph14101265
ISI #: 000414763200174
ISSN: 1660-4601
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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