How Car Tyres Could Be Impacting Your Health
Scrap tyres will become the latest headache for a government still smarting from the fiasco over its newly-created fridge mountain of every brand under the sun including goodyear tyres. A European directive will prohibit garbage dumps of entire tyres by next year and shredded tyres by 2006. The option of disposing tyres in places like Heyope will be closed and new ways will need to be found to get rid of the 13m tyres that are stockpiled or put in garbage dumps every year. The problem is substantial. The number of tyres in use is anticipated to increase by up to 60% by 2021, as the variety of vehicles rises. Every day, 100,000 are taken off cars and trucks, vans, trucks, buses and bicycles. It is estimated that there are now more than 200 million lying around.
Although tyres remain considerably intact for decades, some of their parts can break down and leach. Environmental conern centres on the extremely harmful ingredients used in their manufacturing process, such as zinc, chromium, lead, copper, cadmium and sulphur.
The best use of tyres is probably to retread them, but this is now expensive, and less than ever are recycled in this way. A joint industry and government initiative sponsored by the primary tyre industry associations said that simply 18% of Britain’s tyres are retreaded. An additional 48,500 tonnes are converted into “crumb rubber”, utilized in carpet underlay and to make surfaces such as those on running tracks and children’s play grounds.
Meanwhile, the UK sends out 26% of its tyre replacement left over to land fill, far less than some other EU nations. France sends practically half, Spain 58%, but Holland sends out none. The market is now racking its brains as to ways to dispose of the additional 13m tyres that will build up from being used by next year.