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USTMA to produce standardized tire tread particles for scientific research

The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) has announced a commitment to produce cryogenically milled tire tread (CMTT) and provide samples to researchers to advance scientific study on tire and road wear particles (TRWP).

Representatives from the industry presented information about this initiative at a special breakout session at the 42nd Annual Meeting of the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) North America, a virtual meeting on November 14-18.

“We know that researchers face limitations in trying to create representative tire and road wear particles for accurate scientific study,” said Sarah Amick, Vice President EHS&S and Senior Counsel, USTMA. “To support researchers and advance their work, USTMA is using a standardized methodology to produce cryogenically milled tire tread, samples of which we will provide to researchers who study the potential human health and environmental impacts associated with tire wear particles.”

CMTT is the product of a standardized and reproduceable laboratory process that grinds (or mills) tire tread to simulate the tire particles that are normally generated by the friction between tires and road surfaces. CMTT is a mix of tiny rubber pieces that are representative of tire tread but do not contain chemicals or elements arising from pavement or any interactions with pavement. For researchers who study TRWP, CMTT offers a surrogate material that eliminates external contamination sources that make contact with tires during normal operational use. CMTT is not a direct replacement for the study of TRWP, but it allows researchers to isolate and focus studies on the tire tread component.

“The Tire Industry Project created this methodology to support research on tire wear by providing a reliable and affordable material for lab experiments,” said Anne Cécile Rémont, Director of TIP. “With more than a decade of experience researching TRWP and producing tire test materials we understand the scientific importance of representative test materials; CMTT is complicated and costly to produce, and we support efforts to remove barriers to the use of appropriate materials for TRWP research.”

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