Ecotoxicological studies relating to tire wear particles (TWP) have focussed, up until very recently, almost entirely on the released leachate. Little is known about the toxicology effects of TWP dispersed in freshwater. In the present small-scale study we exposed Hyallela azteca to TWP dispersed in water with the aim of (i) determining the potential acute and chronic impacts of TWP exposure (ii) challenging the prevailing idea that tire leachate is the primary causative agent of tire-related toxicity. H. azteca were shown to indescriminately ingest TWP with a gut retention time of 24-48 h. Acute (48 h) TWP exposure followed an expected concentration-response curve from which an LC50 of 3426 ± 172 particles mL-1 was determined, but leachate exposure did not conform to a sigmoidal concentration-response pattern and therefore an LC50 was not derivable. However, toxicity profiles of TWP and leachate appeared to be sufficiently different as to suggest a dissimilar mechanism of toxicity. Mortality, reproductive output (neonate production) and net growth were all significantly impacted at the higher exposure concentrations (500-2000 particles mL-1) following 21 days exposure. Our study demonstrates that TWP exposure elicits short-term and longer-term toxicity on a key freshwater organism.