New Publication in Frontiers in Environmental Science Finds Tire Additives in Vegetables

A new study in cooperation with the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has detected tire additives in leafy vegetables.

Tire wear particles and their associated organic chemicals are expected to reach the agricultural environment via irrigation with treated wastewater, application of biosolids, or atmospheric deposition. Previous research has shown that lettuce plants can take up tire-derived compounds under laboratory conditions, but it was unknown to what extent this occurs in a real agricultural setting. This study screened twenty-eight commercial leafy vegetable samples grown in Switzerland, Spain, Italy, and Israel for sixteen tire-derived compounds. Six compounds were detected, including benzothiazole and p-phenylenediamine (PPD) derivatives. Based on the concentrations measured, an estimated daily intake of these compounds is presented, allowing a first glimpse at how dietary intake might contribute to overall human exposure to tire-derived compounds. 

The study has been featured in various news articles, most prominently in the Civil Eats Magazine.