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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday May 27 2020, @09:19PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the tyring-news dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

A major UK government-funded research study suggests particles released from vehicle tyres could be a significant and previously largely unrecorded source of microplastics in the marine environment.

The study is one of the first worldwide to identify tyre particles as a major and additional source of microplastics. Scientists have previously discovered microplastics, originating from microbeads in cosmetics and the degradation of larger items such as carrier bags and plastic bottles, in marine environments globally—from the deep seas to the Arctic.

Following the government's ban on rinse off microbeads, which is one of the toughest in the world, the Defra-funded study [Defra - Dept for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs] led by the University of Plymouth now reveals vital new information that will improve our scientific understanding of how tiny particles from tyres, synthetic fibres from clothing and maritime gear also enter the ocean.

[...] The study shows the tyre particles can be transported directly to the ocean through the atmosphere, or carried by rainwater into rivers and sewers, where they can pass through the water treatment process. Researchers estimate this could place around 100million m² of the UK's river network—and more than 50million m² of estuarine and coastal waters—at risk of contamination by tyre particles.

Its findings also highlight some of the optimal places for intervention, for example, that fitting filters to washing machines could be less effective than changing fabric designs to reduce fibre loss, with another study at the University having recently shown that normal wear and tear when wearing clothes is just as significant a source of microplastic pollution as release from laundering.

[...] "What this study also does is provide further evidence of the complex problems posed by microplastic pollution. We have looked at three pathways and shown that all of them are substantive pathways to the environment. As we work to understand their potential distribution and impacts it is important to also work together with industry and policy makers to identify potential solutions which may include changes in behaviour, changes in product design and waste management."


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Meta: Community Milestones! 22 comments

One Millionth Comment!

On 2020-05-28 the SoylentNews community attained an amazing milestone: the posting of its one millionth comment!

First off, please accept my sincere thanks and gratitude to the community for all your contributions to the site to get us to this point. Never did I imagine in those first few days when comment IDs were 3 or 4 digits long that such a milestone was even feasible! I mean the site was crashing several times a day. Not an auspicious start, that's for sure! But we all pulled together, weathered some challenges, and got things pulled together.. and we're still here!

So, who was the lucky poster of comment 1,000,000? And who was the runner-up at comment 999,999 (which has a nice palindromic ring to it, wouldn't you agree?

The honor of the very first 7-digit comment fittingly goes to story-submitter extraordinaire takyon. Yes, not content to post comment ID 1000000 because that could be just a one-shot lucky break. No, he has posted (as of this writing) 18,731 comments. Oh, and as for submitting stories, he is unfortunately omitted from the "Most Active Authors" list on the SoylentNews Hall of Fame because he is also an editor. So, please join me in thanking takyon for submitting 5,852 stories! Oh! And as an editor, he has also pushed out 1,350 stories! Whenever I see one of his subs in the queue, I know it only needs a quick review before pushing it out to the story queue. He makes my job as an editor much easier and makes SoylentNews look good! Thanks takyon!

So who was our runner-up with comment number 999,999? Well, he wasn't just spinning his tires when he posted this comment. None other than our also-prolific Runaway1956! He is no slouch when it comes to posting comments, either, as he has posted 18,483 of them so far. He has taken an active part in comment moderation, too with 2,968 moderations of which 78% were upmods. As if that were not enough, he is also an active contributor to our Folding@Home team, sitting currently at 3rd place and making a hard run for 2nd place! (F@H investigates — via computer modelling — how proteins fold.) The F@H group's efforts have almost exclusively been redirected to understanding the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19 disease.

For those who may be unaware, SoylentNews is purely a volunteer organization. Nobody has ever been paid even one cent for their work. Further, we have never accepted any advertising on SoylentNews; the site is entirely self supporting through the subscriptions of the community. We run a tight ship and expenses run approximately $20 per day for everything.

Speaking of volunteers, it brings me great pleasure to call out another major milestone, fnord666 has now edited over 5,000 stories on SoylentNews! (See Most Active Authors.) Thanks so very much, fnord666, for all your hard work and sacrifices to make that happen!

Thanks everybody! Here's to many more years!


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  • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday May 27 2020, @09:27PM (4 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday May 27 2020, @09:27PM (#999926) Journal

    Tyre may refer to: Tire, the outer part of a wheel. Contents. 1 Places; 2 Mythology; 3 People; 4 See also. Places[edit]. Tyre, Lebanon, a city. See of Tyre, a ...

    --
    Difference between inlaws and outlaws: outlaws are wanted.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @09:49PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @09:49PM (#999931)

      Damn liberals trying to erase human progress! Will no one think of the tumors?

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @11:20PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @11:20PM (#999966)

      Never has a comment containing dictionary definitions been a better sign that things just got wheel.

      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday May 28 2020, @08:56AM

        by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Thursday May 28 2020, @08:56AM (#1000100) Homepage
        Spoke like a true nerd.
        --
        Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @01:06PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @01:06PM (#1000142)

      Are Tyre particles purple?

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyrian_purple [wikipedia.org]

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @09:59PM (7 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @09:59PM (#999937)

    I must be getting old, I thought tires were made of rubber. Maybe plastic tyres is a UK thing?

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by takyon on Wednesday May 27 2020, @10:06PM (2 children)

      by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Wednesday May 27 2020, @10:06PM (#999940) Journal

      Plastic from tyres 'major source' of ocean pollution [bbc.com] (2017)

      Synthetic rubber, made from a variant of plastic, makes up around 60% of the rubber used in tyres.

      Synthetic rubber [wikipedia.org]


      A synthetic rubber is any artificial elastomer. These are mainly polymers synthesized from petroleum byproducts. About 32-million metric tons of rubbers are produced annually, and of that amount two thirds are synthetic. Global revenues generated with synthetic rubbers are likely to rise to approximately US$56 billion in 2020. Synthetic rubber, like natural rubber, has uses in the automotive industry for tires, door and window profiles, hoses, belts, matting, and flooring.

      [...] The expanded use of bicycles, and particularly their pneumatic tires, starting in the 1890s, created increased demand for rubber. In 1909, a team headed by Fritz Hofmann, working at the Bayer laboratory in Elberfeld, Germany, succeeded in polymerizing isoprene, the first synthetic rubber.

      The first rubber polymer synthesized from butadiene was created in 1910 by the Russian scientist Sergei Vasiljevich Lebedev. This form of synthetic rubber provided the basis for the first large-scale commercial production by the tsarist empire, which occurred during World War I as a result of shortages of natural rubber. This early form of synthetic rubber was again replaced with natural rubber after the war ended, but investigations of synthetic rubber continued. Russian American Ivan Ostromislensky who moved to New York in 1922 did significant early research on synthetic rubber and a couple of monomers in the early 20th century. Political problems that resulted from great fluctuations in the cost of natural rubber led to the enactment of the Stevenson Act in 1921. This act essentially created a cartel which supported rubber prices by regulating production, but insufficient supply, especially due to wartime shortages, also led to a search for alternative forms of synthetic rubber.

      By 1925 the price of natural rubber had increased to the point that many companies were exploring methods of producing synthetic rubber to compete with natural rubber. In the United States, the investigation focused on different materials from those used in Europe, building on the early laboratory work of Fr Julius Nieuwland, a professor of chemistry at the University of Notre Dame, who developed the synthesis of neoprene.

      [...] B. F. Goodrich Company scientist Waldo Semon developed a new and cheaper version of synthetic rubber known as Ameripol in 1940. Ameripol made synthetic rubber production much more cost effective, helping to meet the United States' needs during World War II.

      Production of synthetic rubber in the United States expanded greatly during World War II since the Axis powers controlled nearly all the world's limited supplies of natural rubber by mid-1942, following the Japanese conquest of most of Asia (from where much of the global supply of natural rubber gets sourced).[citation needed] Military trucks needed rubber for tires and rubber was used in almost every other war machine. The U.S. government launched a major (and largely secret) effort to improve synthetic rubber production. [...] By 1944, a total of 50 factories were manufacturing it, pouring out a volume of the material twice that of the world's natural rubber production before the beginning of the war. It still represents about half of total world production.

      [...] Additional refinements to the process of creating synthetic rubber continued after the war. The chemical synthesis of isoprene accelerated the reduced need for natural rubber, and the peacetime quantity of synthetic rubber exceeded the production of natural rubber by the early 1960s.

      --
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      • (Score: 4, Funny) by Muad'Dave on Thursday May 28 2020, @12:31PM

        by Muad'Dave (1413) on Thursday May 28 2020, @12:31PM (#1000139)

        About 32-million metric tons of rubbers are produced annually ...

        Someone's having a vigorous safe sex life.

      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by JoeMerchant on Thursday May 28 2020, @09:24PM

        by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday May 28 2020, @09:24PM (#1000288)

        Tire schmutz is evil stuff - sticky goo that's really hard to remove... learned this after driving 50,000 miles in a major metro area, the windshield was coated in this stuff that wouldn't come off for _almost_ anything. Hurricane Andrew finally cleaned it off: 4 hours of 100mph+ water+oak leaf blasting did finally get that stuff off the glass.

        Now, if it sticks to glass like that, just imagine what wonderful things it sticks to inside your body after you inhale it.

        --
        Україна не входить до складу Росії.
    • (Score: 4, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @10:12PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @10:12PM (#999943)

      Oh bollocks! Piss off you bloody murican wanker. Over the pond yonder we call them tyres not "tires." French fries are also chips, chips are crisps, and ordering carry out Indian food is called "fancy a curry" which seems sorta racist, but we've done all sorts of fucked up shit to the Indians so it's fine. Now pardon me as I stick my pinky out while I sip disgusting Earl Grey tea through my buck teeth after a simply famishing game of croquet.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @10:32PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @10:32PM (#999949)

        but we've done all sorts of fucked up shit to the Indians

        So have we, even calling them "Indians!"

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @10:38PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @10:38PM (#999952)

          Actually, that was them too.

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @10:39PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @10:39PM (#999953)

          OP meant wogs.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @11:02PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @11:02PM (#999959)

    Drifting, variant of car racing that involves lots of tire smoke, will be banned. Then one of the Korean tire companies will come out with special rubber that doesn't wear out at high slip conditions.

    The same yahoos that "roll coal" (run their diesel rich, making excess black particulates) will make up for the lack of traditional drifting by burning rubber at every opportunity.

    Drag racers, once among the smokiest of auto sports will stop doing burnouts before their run. New tire compounds will respond best at lower surface temps and traction control will finally be allowed to completely ban wheel spin. Spectators will lose interest (the burnout is the spectacular part of the event) and pro drag racing will wither.

    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @06:00AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @06:00AM (#1000070)

      And that will be the year of Linux takes on the desktop.

  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @11:32PM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @11:32PM (#999973)

    So one more reason to ban cars and take UK people's last right: free travel.

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @11:35PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 27 2020, @11:35PM (#999974)

      *Free travel with externalities

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Snotnose on Wednesday May 27 2020, @11:37PM (3 children)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Wednesday May 27 2020, @11:37PM (#999975)

    First, we had to dust a lot more often. Second, the dust was black, instead of the beige/gray you usually get. We were maybe 50-100 feet above the freeway with the dominant winds blowing the freeway stuff away from us.

    If a real estate agent says"you'll get used to the noise, think of the money you're saving", they're lying. You never get used to the noise, the black dust sucks, and you get used to hearing car crashes once a month or so.

    I remember our first car crash. It was late at night, woke us out of bed. Went to the back yard, a minivan was on it's side across 2 lanes in the middle of the 5 lane freeway (I5 southbound at Del Mar Heights). There were 2 people on the downstream side of the van, just wandering around (this was before cellphones). This was clearly a disaster in the making, oncoming drivers could not see the van in time to stop, and if anyone hit that van the 2 people were dead. Fortunately the cops showed up before someone hit that van

    --
    I hate when I put something off to tomorrow, and tomorrow arrives.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @12:24AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @12:24AM (#999989)

      > Second, the dust was black

      Did you ever figure out if it was diesel particulate or tire particles or both? Just curious.

      Lived on the 6th floor above a major artery in Boston and we also had black dust, we assumed it was all diesel particles, never occurred to up to think about tire wear. Not too many road accidents (the artery was low speed), but a building on the other side blew up one morning (natural gas explosion). There was a guy sleeping on the top/4th floor, he and his bed landed on top of a *big* pile of bricks and he was fine. Rest of the occupants were luckily away.

      • (Score: 2) by Snotnose on Thursday May 28 2020, @02:24PM

        by Snotnose (1623) on Thursday May 28 2020, @02:24PM (#1000162)

        We assumed it was tire particulate, mostly because it was gritty.

        --
        I hate when I put something off to tomorrow, and tomorrow arrives.
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday May 28 2020, @09:26PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday May 28 2020, @09:26PM (#1000289)

      I had an office that overlooked a freeway on ramp - the truck tire blowout was quite entertaining, as was the ensuing collision between the truck and the car driving next to him - car _almost_ reacted in time... no injuries. For added fun, we were a video security company and caught the whole thing on 30fps 1080p.

      --
      Україна не входить до складу Росії.
  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @12:17AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @12:17AM (#999983)

    At least we've outlawed plastic bags. Those things were always reduced into toner-fine, white powder. Glad to be rid of the energy-efficient things.

    Not.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @06:06AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @06:06AM (#1000071)

      Why do you want to kill the economy so bad?

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Runaway1956 on Thursday May 28 2020, @12:55AM (5 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 28 2020, @12:55AM (#999999) Homepage Journal

    The highways have always been a major contributor of pollution. Road salts got a lot of attention, earlier than other pollutions. If you dump tons and tons of salt on the roads during the winter, to keep them ice-free, that salt rapidly runs off, and pollutes all the waterways nearby. We figured that out rather quickly (relatively speaking) and found other ways to improve traction on the roads - like sand and ash. Still somewhat polluting, but far better than salt!

    Rubber tires, now? Well, we wear out millions of tires every year. Tire comes from the factory, it weighs 25 pounds. When it's worn out, it only weighs 23, or maybe 22 pounds. Where did the rest of it go? Oh yeah - on the roadway. Yes, of course all that rubber and/or plastic is running off into the waterways. Where else is there for it to go? And, every bit of it is "micro". Natural rubber or plastic, it's all micro.

    In my mind, there isn't much "risk" involved here. It's a certainty that the rain carries most of that rubber down to the local ponds, streams, creeks, rivers, and eventually, most of it ends up in the ocean. In arid regions, all that rubber probably gets blown around by the wind, until it ends up in low spots, like ditches.

    --
    Our first six presidents were educated men. Then, along came a Democrat.
    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @03:16AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @03:16AM (#1000039)

      > Where did the rest of it go? Oh yeah - on the roadway.

      Some of the rubber dust may be eaten by bacteria, but a quick search suggests this only takes care of a minor portion of the rubber.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @06:12AM (2 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @06:12AM (#1000072)

      Would it be possible to add lead to the rubber compound in such a way that it wouldn't degrade performance too much? Leaching lead is far more efficient than micro particles - don't get me wrong, I like the micro particles - but how can we most efficiently trash every corner of the planet?

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @07:47AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @07:47AM (#1000084)

        how can we most efficiently trash every corner of the planet?

        "Peaceful protest" [twitter.com]

      • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday May 28 2020, @09:07AM

        by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Thursday May 28 2020, @09:07AM (#1000104) Homepage
        Dioxins can be used to efficiently bond lead to rubber microparticles. The cyanide produced can be absorbed by bubbling it through mercury until it's saturated, and then that can be disposed of in the nearest body of natural water, or the drain, depending on which is closer.
        --
        Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
    • (Score: 3, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Thursday May 28 2020, @09:28PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday May 28 2020, @09:28PM (#1000290)

      Tire dust doesn't just runoff into the nearby environment, it also flies - and gets inhaled. Tire particles aren't as small or numerous as diesel soot, but they're much more interesting in what they do after being inhaled. Interesting is usually bad, in medical circles.

      --
      Україна не входить до складу Росії.
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @08:47AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @08:47AM (#1000097)

    Shit pipe carrying shit found to leak shit.

  • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Thursday May 28 2020, @09:13AM

    by FatPhil (863) <{pc-soylent} {at} {asdf.fi}> on Thursday May 28 2020, @09:13AM (#1000106) Homepage
    "The study [by female scientists] is one of the first worldwide to identify tyre particles as a major and additional source of microplastics. [Male] Scientists have previously discovered microplastics, originating from microbeads in cosmetics ..."
    --
    Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
  • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Thursday May 28 2020, @03:16PM (2 children)

    by Phoenix666 (552) on Thursday May 28 2020, @03:16PM (#1000173) Journal

    I am so tyred of this kind of article. What about the billions of people running around wearing rubber-soled sneakers? I know mine wear down; do nobody else's?

    --
    Washington DC delenda est.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @07:22PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 28 2020, @07:22PM (#1000252)

      I need to replace my tires way more often than my shoes (and that's usually due to cheap glue rather than worn soles).

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 30 2020, @04:11AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 30 2020, @04:11AM (#1000914)

        > and that's usually due to cheap glue rather than worn soles

        Shoe Goo is your friend (as long as you don't breathe the fumes). My old, comfy sneakers/trainers have been glued back together several times and also had the soles built-up with several thin layers of ShoeGoo.

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