Contaminated Tires Using Zinc Oxide Will Be Limited

- Jul 04, 2019-

Recently, California introduced a bill that attracted the attention of zinc oxide and tire manufacturers.


In this new law, California recommends limiting the use of zinc or zinc oxide in tires, and it may prohibit the sale of tire products containing certain zinc.


Zinc is polluting the environment


The US bill states that certain zinc alloys can poison microorganisms and aquatic organisms when zinc is released into the environment and into streams, rivers and oceans.


According to the bill, outdoor rubber materials are the main source of zinc pollution in the environment.


It is said that this bill may form legislation in the future prohibiting producers from selling or producing motor vehicle tires with a zinc content exceeding a certain percentage.


Under the Act, producers can apply to the local toxic substance control department to delay the release of special-purpose zinc-containing motor vehicle tire bans.


In addition, producers face a fine of up to $10,000 each time they violate the bill.


The bill will order motor vehicle tire producers to develop new formulations, look for potential alternatives to zinc, and determine whether alternatives will have an impact on public health and the environment.


Some zinc oxide producers and related parties oppose this legislation, accusing the bill of being based on miscalculations of zinc levels in local waterways. They believe that the zinc in many waterways actually comes from the non-tire industry.


The new regulations affect the two major industries


The industry believes that if the bill is passed, it will have a greater impact on the tire industry.


It is learned that half of the industrially produced zinc oxide is flowing to the rubber industry, and the tire industry is the largest market for zinc oxide.


Zinc or zinc oxide is commonly used as a catalyst in the process of tire vulcanization. It not only accelerates the vulcanization rate, but also improves the rubber's conductivity and helps the heat dissipation of the tire.


Therefore, if the use of zinc or zinc oxide in the tires is limited, even if the use is reduced, it will affect the future development of the two industries.


It is understood that at present, the domestic tire industry still uses a large amount of zinc oxide, and few companies use other more suitable alternatives.


At the same time, the domestic zinc oxide production capacity is seriously over-supplied, and the downstream tire market has declined in the past two years, further exacerbating competition in this industry. It is reported that the industry's current average operating rate is only 60%.


According to analysis, the reduction of the use of zinc oxide in the tire industry is a major trend in the future. The introduction of this US bill is also a reminder to domestic related companies.