Estimation of tyre and road wear particle emissions in urban aquatic systems

, Gutierrez Victoria, Boxall Alistair, Mcclean Colin.

Tyre wear particles (TWP) which generate from the contact between the road surface and the tyre have gained increasing attention because of their significant microplastics (≤ 5 mm) contribution to the environment. These particles will end up on the pavement surface where some parts will get trapped and others will enter the surface water through direct road run-off, wastewater effluent and overflows of the sewage system. The considerable amount of particles released to the environment can have toxicological effects on aquatic organisms, due to the chemicals added during the manufacturing process and to the adsorption of contaminants present in the environment. The lack of analytical methods for the detection and accurate quantification of tread wear particles in the environment makes monitoring campaigns and the implementation of mitigation strategies difficult or impossible. Therefore, this study aims to assess exposure to tyre wear particles in urban aquatic environments by analyzing their theoretical fate, transport and retention processes using an integrative modelling approach at high spatial and temporal resolution. Initially, the city of York in the UK was used as a case study. These findings may help to have better management in the future and an improved road run-off treatment.

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