It has been known for a long time that tire treads wear thin, but there has not been much research until recently documenting where the particles from rubber tires go. It is likely that the larger particles that do not become airborne collect on the side of the road and get washed into bodies of water with rain. Alison Draper, a scientist at Trinity College, conducted a research project to track water pollution from automotive tire deterioration. The study has found that chemicals from tires do leach into water, especially the synthetic polymer styrene-butadiene which is toxic and difficult to break down.
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