Vulcanized rubber as used in tires contains a chemical called nitrosamines. These are generally produced through the use of rubber accelerants that create them in the finished product. This is becoming a concern in the modern era with more concern for public health as nitrosamines are almost certainly carcinogenic.
Nitrosamines are a category of chemical compounds that have unfortunately proven to be a bane of human existence. The vast majority of nitrosamines are potent carcinogens. Perhaps the most damage has been caused by tobacco specific nitrosamines, often abbreviated as TSNA, that are associatec with some of the damage caused by smoking. In the past it was also found in high quantities in processed meats but most countries have passed legislation that limits that amount of nitrosamine causing nitrates used.
Rubber products unfortunately still generally contain high levels. In tires this is a cause of only limited concern for the general public but presents a danger to people that work in the tire industry and may therefore be exposed to rubber particles on frequent basis. The MacLellan Rubber claims to have made a breakthrough in the elimination of nitrosamines from rubber by avoiding the use of accelerants that produce it. This could possibly lead to a newer and safer development of rubber in the future.
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