Tire and road wear particles (TRWP) are generated in large quantity by automobile traffic on roads but their way of degradation in the environment is largely unclear. Laboratory experiments were performed on the effect of elevated temperature (simulating 2–3 years), sunlight exposure (simulating 0.5 years) and mechanical stress on the physical properties and chemical composition of TRWP and of cryo-milled tire tread (CMTT).
The study found that:
- Aging of tire and road wear particles changes their properties in an unknown manner
- Aging effects on particle size distribution and density of TRWP were not significant
- Chemical composition shifted from parent compounds to transformation products
- TRWP aging significantly alters environmental exposure to tire-related chemicals
These results highlight that abiotic aging of TRWPs leads to strong changes in their chemical composition which affect their particle properties and are of relevance for the environmental exposure to tire-related chemicals.