Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne "Rubbed Off" rubber
Name: Doug Moe
Status: Other
Age: N/A
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 

Where does the rubber of the tire go that wears out from driving on the road? What effect does this "rubbed off" rubber have on the environment?

You can see rubbed off rubber patches wherever cars skid - skid marks are everywhere. The rubber tends to stick to the road, or gradually blow off as dust. I do not honestly think anyone has ever thought about the environmental effects of rubber dust, but I could be wrong. A much bigger problem is what to do with the tires after the tread wears off. And the exhaust gasses from cars probably have a bigger environmental impact than rubber dust. One thing you can do with old tires is to recycle them into asphalt and use it to pave roads - then you not only have tires on the road but IN the road too. Here is a book to check out: "Highway Pollution", by Ronald S. Hamilton and Roy M. Harrison, 1991.


Click here to return to the Environmental Science

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory