Tyre Particle Health, Environment and Safety Research

Understanding the safety of tyre particles

Australia generates the equivalent of over 58 million passenger tyres each year. Throughout the life cycle of these tyres, they interact with the surrounding environment and community.  

When tyres are driven on roads, tyre particles, known as tyre and road wear particles, are generated. Tyre particles are also in tyre-derived materials which are recovered and processed from tyres when they reach the end of their life. These particles are different, they vary in size and form and interact uniquely with the surrounding environment.  

TSA is conducting research to understand the interaction between the different types of tyre particles and the surrounding community and environment.  Through investigation of the environmental and health impacts, we support industry, government, businesses and researchers in the tyre value chain in finding solutions to reduce the impact of end-of-life tyres and support Australia's circular economy.  

Tyre Particle Safety Research

TSA’s tyre particle research investigates safe exposure of tyre particles in the environment and the longevity of products that use tyre-derived materials; turf fields, playgrounds, running tracks and crumb rubber-modified asphalt in roads.

TSA’s research included an assessment of global research from reports and articles, and industry consultation to inform key findings and conclusions. The research also provides recommendations and actions for the industry. The information relating to risks towards aquatic organisms and human health was assessed largely based on the results and conclusions from peer-reviewed scientific articles. 

The findings so far have shown that tyre particles from tyre-derived materials have a minor risk on the surrounding community and environment. TSA is furthering this research in Australia to learn more and fill knowledge gaps to support Australia’s circular economy.

There are industry measures that can help close the loop and reduce tyre particles entering our environment, which include: 

  • Good tyre maintenance 
  • Designing and construction for longevity 
  • Safe work practices 
  • Ensure longevity of our materials through recovery 

It is a priority for TSA to understand the impacts and outcomes of tyre recovery, along with promoting their safe and environmentally sound use. It is crucial for industry and policymakers to understand current research and stay vigilant with tyre particles knowledge and developments. 

Download the full report here:

Tyre Particle Health, Environment and Safety Report