SAN FRANCISCO — Tire and road-wear particles (TWRP) do not pose a threat to human health, according to findings released by the Tire Industry Project (TIP) during its recent biennial meeting in San Francisco.
The TIP, which is backed by leading tire makers and operates under the umbrella of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), said its findings are based on extensive ambient air testing carried out in Los Angeles, London, Tokyo and Delhi, India.
"Results indicate that the presence of TRWP PM2.5 microns in size is very low and below all human health and regulatory thresholds anywhere in the world," the TIP said. PM2.5 refers to "fine particulates" with diameters that are less than or equal to 2.5 microns in size.
The organization went on to say that additional toxicity testing for one specific targeted chemical in TRWP was conducted to increase its understanding of the life cycle impacts of tires, but did not elaborate further on the results of the test.
The report referred to on-going studies on TRWP in various environments, including air, water, and sediment, stating that "based on a comprehensive risk assessment, the studies demonstrated that TRWP are considered safe for human health and the environment."
The San Francisco meeting, involving the CEOs of 11 of the world's largest tire makers, was part of the TIP's mission to discuss sustainability within the industry.
The companies involved — Bridgestone Corp., Continental A.G., Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Hankook Tire Co. Ltd., Kumho Tire Co. Inc., Compagnie Générale des Établissements Michelin, Pirelli & C. S.p.A., Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd., Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. and Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. — represent nearly two-thirds of the world's tire manufacturing capacity.
Additionally, the group discussed sustainable natural rubber and best practices for responsible sourcing of NR.
Bridgestone, Goodyear and Michelin have served as co-leaders of the group's work.