Project Details Minimising Environmental Impacts of Tyre and Road Wear Particles

Project No.:
Start Date:
01 January 2022
End Date:


Vast amounts of waste particles and chemicals are released in the environment due to wearing of tyres on roads, globally. In Europe alone, more than one million tons of tyre and road wear particles (TRWP) are released annually. The per-capita-mass emissions of TWRP range from 0.2 to 5.5 kg/yr ( Microplastics and chemicals associated with tyre wear are of a concern for their ecological and human health risks with some already reported to be toxic to aquatic organisms.

The key objective of this project is to organise two events, namely a technical symposium (2022) and subsequently a workshop (2023) to discuss the fate and effects of the tyre and road constituents in the environment, with a view to minimise their adverse impact. The intended outcome of this project is to bring together sound scientific information about the TWRP that is essential for minimising their environmental impact.


Tyre wear particles are considered as microplastics (MP). Huge amount of such MPs are released in the environment in the form of TWRP on roads globally. In Europe alone >1 million tons of tyre and road wear particles are released per year. Recent studies ( show that the annual emissions of tyre wear for numerous countries show per-capita-masses ranging from 0.2 to 5.5 kg/(capita).
MP particles are ingested by various organisms such as aquatic species. Chemicals associated with tyre wear their ecological as well as human health risks (via food chains) are of concern.
A recent (2020) article in Science ( highlighted that a tyre-rubber chemical 6PPD (N-(1,3-dimethylbutyl)-N′-phenyl-p-phenylenediamine), which is globally ubiquitous in road runoff, is highly toxic to salmon fish. The study found widespread occurrence of 6PPD-quinone (<0.3 to 19 micrograms per liter) at toxic concentrations (median lethal concentration of 0.8 ± 0.16 micrograms per liter) in roadway runoff and stormwater-affected creeks of the U.S. West Coast. This explained the so called “urban stream syndrome” – an acute mortality phenomenon that has affected Pacific Northwest coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) for decades. This has triggered global effort towards better understanding of the fate and effects of tyre wear constituents and chemicals.
Baensch-Baltruschat et al. (2020) reported ( that typically tyre tread contain 40-50 mass % as natural and synthetic rubber, 30-35 mass % as fillers (e.g. soot/black carbon, silica and chalk) and about 15 % softeners (oil and resins), and remaining 5-10 mass % as vulcanisation agents and additives including plasticiser, preservatives and other chemicals. Therefore, potentially the tyre wear particles can release a range of chemicals in the environment.

Chemistry of the Environment (Division VI) of IUPAC along with Polymer Division (Div IV) and Analytical Chemistry Division (Div V) has been making timely and authoritative contributions towards solutions to the interactable problems associated with waste materials including microplastics and chemicals associated with waste materials.
Tyre-wear constituents currently pose analytical challenges, as has been noted in a recent review on this topic by Baensch-Baltruschat et al. (2020) ( Therefore, the IUPAC Division VI and Korean Society of Analytical Science sponsored conference (APCE & CECE & ITP 2022) at Angkor Wat (Cambodia) on 6-10 November 2022 (;;, offers an excellent opportunity for the symposium. A workshop in 2023 would coincide with a suitable conference, to be identified. Division VI has a current project on microplastics (project 2019-026-2-600) which will serve as an excellent platform to build this project on. Therefore, the proposed symposium ‘Minimising Environmental Impacts of Tyre and Road Wear Particles’ aims to highlight how chemistry play a significant role in reducing environmental impacts of chemicals associated with wastes such as tyre chemicals and tyre wear particles. The symposium will includes topics which are relevant to the work and expertise located in the IUPAC Division of Chemistry and the Environment (Div VI) as well as IUPAC Analytical Chemistry (Div V) and Polymer Division (Div IV).


Page last update 3 Jan 2022