Do tires cause cancer?
Tire-curing and rubber mixing, milling, and vulcanizing can release large amounts of contaminants into the air. Breathing in these particles could lead to cancer forming in the lungs. High concentrations of asbestos, n-nitrosamines, and talc also increase the risk of lung cancer.
Because tires are made of natural rubber and plastic, it's easy to miss just how much they contribute to pollution in our oceans. Small bits of degraded plastic from tire wear pervade the environment, including the oceans, researchers are discovering.
Analysis of the vapours that are released from tires reveals the presence of numerous compounds that constitute the “tire smell.” Some of these, mostly those emanating from the hydrocarbon oils, are potentially toxic. Some, like benzopyrene, are carcinogenic.
Nearly all tires worldwide contain 6PPD and shed the toxic 6PPD-quinone. “It's used to prevent degradation and cracking of the rubber compounds, which is critical for tire safety,” said attorney Sarah Amick with the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association.
Although tires are extremely useful to many many people, it is also very bad for the environment and for the world as a whole. This rubber has to go somewhere when it's life cycle is done, and because it has so many materials, and chemicals in it, tires are really hard to discard.
Results of the OEHHA studies showed that a single incident of eating or touching tire shreds would probably not harm a child's health, but repeated or long-term exposure might. Five chemicals, including four PAHs, were found on wipe samples.
According to an independent report by Emissions Analytics, particulates from aging tires are more problematic than tailpipe emissions for modern cars. Worn-out tires produce about 1850 times more particles than do vehicle tailpipes, according to research done by UK researchers Emission Analytics.
Tires do not decompose. When tires pile up in landfills or junkyards, they can release chemicals into the air, ground, and water that alter the ecosystem. Just sitting in the sun, a waste tire releases methane gas into the air. This greenhouse gas increases our carbon footprint and can contribute to climate change.
Tires can include natural rubber, synthetic rubber, steel, nylon, silica (derived from sand), polyester, carbon black, petroleum, etc.
Styrene is a benzene derivative and burning tires releases styrene and several benzene compounds. Butadiene is a highly carcinogenic four-carbon compound that may also be released from the styrene-butadiene (SBR rubber its called) polymer form during combustion.
Does burning tires cause cancer?
Depending on the length and degree of exposure, these health effects could include irritation of the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes, respiratory effects, central nervous system depression, and cancer. The EPA suggests that any unprotected exposure to these emissions be avoided.
The material can contain heavy metals like lead and manganese, volatile organic compounds like toluene, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. The chemicals are associated with cancer and other illnesses at certain levels of exposure.