Why are tires an environmental threat?
Tires are built to handle extreme weather conditions, so they do not biodegrade. Chemicals used to manufacture tires and found in the composition of a tire are extremely flammable. A scrap tire on the ground can also hold water, creating the perfect habitat for mosquitoes and other pests that can offer carry disease.
The EPA reports that as of 2003, more than 500 million scrap tire stockpiles were in existence.
There are now facilities that recycle scrap tires, and the EPA estimates that 80 percent of scrap tires now make it to the recycling center and later become fuel, rubber-modified asphalt or simply retreaded and put into use in another country.
Mexico, for example, reports that near ¼ of all tires sold in the country were used tires from the U.S.
For more on the dangers of tires, visit our tire safety section .
Thursday, April 24 at 11 p.m.