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Do recycled rubber tyres pose a risk for the marine environment? A chemical, physical and effects assessment

Do recycled rubber tyres pose a risk for the marine environment? A chemical, physical and effects assessment

Category
Conference lecture and academic presentation
Abstract
Globally, car tyres have been identified as one of the most significant sources of microplastic (MPs) particles to the environment. Due to the large production volumes and their persistent nature, the disposal of used tyres has also been a major challenge in waste management, making tyre recycling a necessary alternative to landfill disposal. In Norway alone, approx. 55 000 tons of tyres were collected for recycling in 2015. Current uses of recycled tyres include conversion to rubber mulch or granulated particles (<5 mm) prior to use in asphalt production for road construction, flooring in playgrounds and application on artificial grass sports fields. The latter uses have seen increased volume in recent years due high profit gains on recycled materials generated from the abundant and low cost waste tyres. However, tyre rubber contains a complex mixture of chemicals including highly toxic compounds such as aromatic oils, reactive additives, metals, and PAHs. In addition to generation of MPs during normal use, anthropogenic processing of waste tyres represents another significant source. This causes increasing concerns, not only regarding potential risks for human health but also for environmental exposure. In this study, we use pyrolysis GC-MS, GC-MS, ultrahigh resolution FT-ICR-MS and triple quadrupole ICP-MS-MS to investigate the concentrations of potentially toxic compounds (additives and PAHs) and elements in new and used granulated tyres. The leaching of potentially hazardous compounds from three commercially available granulate sizes will be investigated under conditions relevant for the marine environment, i.e. seawater, sediment and the seawater-sediment interface. Impacts of physical stress on MP degradation and leaching of chemicals will be investigated. The uptake and potential adverse effects of both, fresh and naturally weathered fine-grained MPs from tyres will be studied on Hediste diversicolor, a marine sediment dwelling species and potential primary target organism. Furthermore, toxic effects of the leachates will be investigated on the pelagic crustacean Calanus finmarchicus, a key species in the North-Atlantic food web.
Language
English
Affiliation
  • SINTEF Ocean / Miljø og nye ressurser
  • SINTEF Industry / Materials and Nanotechnology
  • SINTEF Industry / Biotechnology and Nanomedicine
Presented at
SETAC Europe 27th Annual Meeting
Place
Brussels
Date
06.05.2017 - 10.05.2017
Year
2017