Coho salmon are getting killed by road runoff contaminated with rubber-tire chemicals.

Science has the cheerful results of a study in the U.S. Pacific Northwest that found a compound from rubber tires – a chemical so common, researchers call it “ubiquitous” – is killing salmon migrating up rivers to spawn:

In U.S. Pacific Northwest coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch), stormwater exposure annually causes unexplained acute mortality when adult salmon migrate to urban creeks to reproduce. By investigating this phenomenon, we identified a highly toxic quinone transformation product of N-(1,3-dimethylbutyl)-N’-phenyl-p-phenylenediamine) (6PPD), a globally ubiquitous tire rubber antioxidant. Retrospective analysis of representative roadway runoff and stormwater-impacted creeks of the U.S. West Coast indicated widespread occurrence of 6PPD-quinone (<0.3-19 μg/L) at toxic concentrations (LC50 of 0.8 ± 0.16 μg/L). These results reveal unanticipated risks of 6PPD antioxidants to an aquatic species and imply toxicological relevance for dissipated tire rubber residues.