Unice KM, Bare JL, Kreider ML, Panko JM. 2015. Experimental methodology for assessing the environmental fate of organic chemicals in polymer matrices using column leaching studies and OECD 308 water/sediment systems: Application to tire and road wear particles. Sci Tot Environ 533:476–487.
Automobile tires require functional rubber additives including curing agents and antioxidants, which are potentially environmentally available from tire and road wear particles (TRWP) deposited in soil and sediment. A novel methodology was employed to evaluate the environmental fate of three commonly-used tire chemicals (N-cyclohexylbenzothiazole-2-sulfenamide (CBS), N-(1,3-dimethylbutyl)-N′-phenyl-1,4-phenylenediamine (6-PPD) and 1,3-diphenylguanidine (DPG)), using a road simulator, an artificial weathering chamber, column leaching tests, and OECD 308 sediment/water incubator studies. Environmental release factors were quantified for curing (fC), tire wear (fW), terrestrial weathering (fS), leaching from TRWP (fL), and environmental availability from TRWP (fA) by liquid chromatography–tandem mass spectroscopy (LC/MS/MS) analyses. Cumulative fractions representing total environmental availability (FT) and release to water (FR) were calculated for the tire chemicals and 13 transformation products. FT for CBS, DPG and 6-PPD inclusive of transformation products for an accelerated terrestrial aging time in soil of 0.1 years was 0.08, 0.1, and 0.06, respectively (equivalent to 6 to 10% of formulated mass). In contrast, a wider range of 5.5 × 10− 4 (6-PPD) to 0.06 (CBS) was observed for FR at an accelerated age of 0.1 years, reflecting the importance of hydrophobicity and solubility for determining the release to the water phase. Significant differences (p < 0.05) in the weathering factor, fS, were observed when chemicals were categorized by boiling point or hydrolysis rate constant. A significant difference in the leaching factor, fL, and environmental availability factor, fA, was also observed when chemicals were categorized by log Kow. Our methodology should be useful for lifecycle analysis of other functional polymer chemicals.