Graduation Date

Summer 8-12-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Health, Occupational Health, and Toxicology

First Advisor

Dr. Joellyn McMillan

Second Advisor

Dr. Todd Wyatt

Third Advisor

Dr. Aaron Yoder


The history of synthetic plastics dates back to their first uses in 1907, continues with their expansion through the middle of the century with a diverse array of new polymers, and are so omnipresent today that many label this age of Earth the Plasticene Era. Tire microplastics (TMPs) have been increasingly identified as one of the environment's most bountiful types of microplastics (MPs). TMPs mainly enter the environment as tire-wear particles (TWPs) and recycled tire crumb (RTC). TWPs, in particular, have a high degree of variability, which impacts their distribution, degradation, and risk for adverse human health effects. This review will serve to provide an overview of the sources, distribution, and routes of exposure of TMPs, compile research and understand the mechanisms of physicochemical diversity and emission factors of TWPs, analyze their potential adverse effects on human health and the role TMP diversity plays in this risk, and will conclude by recommending solutions towards reducing TMP pollution and mitigating the impact on human health