Internalization, reduced growth, and behavioral effects following exposure to micro and nano tire particles in two estuarine indicator species

Chemosphere. 2022 Jun:296:133934. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2022.133934. Epub 2022 Feb 15.


Synthetic rubber emissions from automobile tires are common in aquatic ecosystems. To assess potential impacts on exposed organisms, early life stages of the estuarine indicator species Inland Silverside (Menidia beryllina) and mysid shrimp (Americamysis bahia) were exposed to three tire particle (TP) concentrations at micro and nano size fractions (0.0038, 0.0378 and 3.778 mg/L in mass concentrations for micro size particles), and separately to leachate, across a 5-25 PSU salinity gradient. Following exposure, M. beryllina and A. bahia had significantly altered swimming behaviors, such as increased freezing, changes in positioning, and total distance moved, which could lead to an increased risk of predation and foraging challenges in the wild. Growth for both A. bahia and M. beryllina was reduced in a concentration-dependent manner when exposed to micro-TP, whereas M. beryllina also demonstrated reduced growth when exposed to nano-TP (except lowest concentration). TP internalization was dependent on the exposure salinity in both taxa. The presence of adverse effects in M. beryllina and A. bahia indicate that even at current environmental levels of tire-related pollution, which are expected to continue to increase, aquatic ecosystems may be experiencing negative impacts.

Keywords: Behavior; Growth; Salinity; Tires.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Crustacea
  • Ecosystem*
  • Fishes
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical* / analysis
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical* / toxicity


  • Water Pollutants, Chemical