A team of university, state and federal researchers from Washington and California together with Canadian scientists have identified a compound that is formed when a component in tires reacts with ozone is washed into creeks and streams during storm runoffs. They concluded that the toxic compound is deadly to the endangered Coho. The research was conducted in streams in the Puget Sound vicinity.
The culprit turned out to be related to a chemical called 6PPD, which is essentially a preservative to keep car tires from breaking down too quickly in the presence of ozone. When 6PPD hits the road and reacts with ozone gas, the chemical transforms into multiple new chemicals, including a compound known as 6PPD-quinone.
Hopefully the outcome of this research will result in changes in the chemistry of tire design that will eliminate this Coho killer. Undoubtedly, this could be a long uphill battle against the tire industry. My thanks goes out to those committed to science and conservation of our wildlife!
Posted on December 30th, 2020