Melting Snow Gives Way to Potholes

RMA Urges Motorists to Pay Attention to Avoid “Tire vs. Pothole”

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846

WASHINGTON, DC – March 21, 2014 — As winter snows recede, an epidemic of potholes has broken out across the nation, luring unsuspecting motorists and their vehicles into concrete or asphalt traps  causing damaged wheels, suspensions and tires.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association, the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S., is urging motorists to be extra careful to avoid potholes that can ruin tires or jar a vehicle out of alignment.

“Potholes are a driving hazard that can cause significant damage to your vehicle and ruin a tire,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs.  “Motorists should be extra careful to avoid potholes but if you hit one, you need to have your vehicle and tires checked for damage.”

Potholes can puncture a tire and cause immediate disablement.  Sometimes, pothole damage may not be apparent at first until a motorist notices noise or vibration that indicates internal damage.

“If you notice a change in your vehicle after hitting a pothole, have it inspected immediately,” Zielinski said. “Hitting a pothole can affect wheel alignment. If you notice your car pulling to one side after hitting a pothole, it may indicate an alignment issue.  Failure to address faulty alignment could cause uneven and premature tire wear.”

To help motorists understand the threat potholes pose to tires, RMA has produced a short video, “Tire vs. Pothole” plus a “Tire Care Minute” on alignment and other information to help motorists to Be Tire Smart.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.  All RMA press releases are available at

RMA’s Blumenthal Announces Retirement

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 20, 2014 –The Rubber Manufacturers Association announced today that Michael Blumenthal, vice president, Environment & Resource Recovery will retire from RMA effective July 11, 2014.  Mr. Blumenthal has led RMA’s scrap tire management effort since 1990.

RMA hired Blumenthal in October 1990 as the Executive Director of RMA’s Scrap Tire Management Council (STMC). At the time, scrap tire stockpiles were identified as a leading solid waste problem in the U.S.  Only 11 percent of all scrap tires went to an end use market while EPA estimated that more than 1 billion scrap tires were in piles. Today, about 85 percent of scrap tires are reused in a market and tire stockpiles have been reduced to slightly more than 100 million tires.

Few viable scrap tire markets existed in the early 1990s and most states were in early phases of developing scrap tire management programs. RMA mounted its effort to address the environmental problems posed by scrap tires through advocacy of state regulations, development of end use markets and stockpile abatement.  RMA also sought to compile and make available pertinent information on scrap tire management, abatement, markets and other research as it became available.

“RMA’s scrap tire management effort has played an enormous role in addressing one of the most serious solid waste issues in the nation,” said Charles Cannon, RMA president and CEO.  “And without a doubt, Michael’s dedication, commitment and hard work have been the epicenter of RMA’s contribution and enormous success.”

Blumenthal has coordinated nearly three dozen national and regional conferences on scrap tire management and spoken at more than 200 trade shows and conferences since 1990.  He also has led RMA activity to address on scrap tire issues along the US/Mexico border since 1995 and was the signatory for the US tire manufacturers commitment in an accord between the US and Mexico.

Among his early successes, Blumenthal played an integral part to help publish numerous studies and reports on scrap tire markets; a report on tire leachate, a comprehensive report on tire derived fuel emissions and a manual that provides an overview of the issues to consider to start a scrap tire business.

Following those initial works, Blumenthal’s efforts helped create the first comprehensive guidelines for the prevention and fighting of scrap tire fires; guidelines for the use of tire shreds in civil engineering applications; ASTM standards for the use of tires in civil engineering applications and tire-derived fuel; the revision of the national fire code for outdoor storage of tire and; the first compendium of definitions used in the scrap tire industry.

“Since I started at RMA, tire manufacturers have been strongly committed to an aggressive and ongoing effort to address a serious environmental issue,” Blumenthal said.  “Representing the industry on this crucial issue for almost a quarter century has been a true honor and pleasure. The progress that has been made from those early days of the industry’s effort through today is a proud accomplishment. Now after 24 years, 48 states and more than 4 million air miles I can also say that it is time to move on.”

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.  All RMA press releases are available at

RMA Awards Industry for Achievements in Worker Safety

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 11, 2014 – Five tire manufacturers were recognized for improvements in worker health and safety at the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s annual meeting today.

RMA’s Safety and Health Improvement Program (SHIP), created in 1981, recognizes member companies that achieve significant enhancements in worker health and safety with awards. The SHIP awards encourage and reward a company’s demonstrated commitment to worker health and safety.

“Safety is RMA members’ top priority for their products and their workplaces,” said Charles Cannon, RMA president and CEO. “We are proud to recognize this commitment to safety.”

Two categories of awards are presented to companies that demonstrate workplace safety improvements, which are measured by the incidence rate for lost workday cases. The “Excellence” category is for facilities that achieve A Days Away Restricted Transfer (DART) rate that is 75 percent better than the average achieved by plants that provided data to RMA.

The “Improvement” award is for plants that achieve a Days Away Restricted Transfer (DART) rate that is both 10 percent better than its rate in the previous year and the same or better than the RMA average incidence rate.
For 2014, five Excellence awards and 11 Improvement Awards were presented.

Excellence Awards

Bridgestone Americas, Inc. – Long Beach, California
Oxford, North Carolina

Michelin North America – Starr-Anderson, South Carolina (US10)
Starr, South Carolina (US8)

Pirelli Tire LLC – Rome, Georgia

Improvement Awards

Bridgestone Americas, Inc. – Wilson, North Carolina
Abilene, Texas

Cooper Tire & Rubber Company – Tupelo, Mississippi
Clarksdale, Mississippi

Michelin North America, Inc. – Sandy Springs, South Carolina (US2)
Spartanburg, South Carolina (US3)
Fort Wayne, Indiana (BFG4)
Tuscaloosa, Alabama (BFG3)

The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company – Buffalo, New York
Gadsden, Alabama
Lawton, Oklahoma

Forty-two RMA member facilities supplied data for the annual survey to determine the extent of workplace safety improvements. The data supplied to RMA is identical to information provided to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, which publishes annual injury and illness information on all industries.

Photos of the industry award recipients can be viewed here.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S. All RMA press releases are available at