EPA Looking at Recycled Tires in Playgrounds

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Experts have long been criticizing the safety of tire crumb used in nationwide in playgrounds and sports fields. As a matter-of-fact, says the Environmental News Service, the First Family even had tire crumb installed as a playing surface for their children.

Synthetic turf has concerned politicians and consumer watchdog groups for some time over the potential health and <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/toxic_substances">environmental hazards You Got Served trailer that come from recycled tire rubber, or crumb rubber. Crumb rubber is used as artificial dirt between plastic blades of grass on many fields.

Now, says the Environmental News Service, the Environmental Protection Agency Pulse 3 move

(EPA) is looking at its earlier endorsement of the use of shredded tires to cushion play areas from falls. The Environmental News Service cited EPA documents just released by the environmental advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, PEER, in which the EPA states additional research is needed into the safety of ground rubber, or tire crumb.

Of concern, in a memo last year to EPA Headquarters from one of its satellite offices, it stated that it “identified potential hazards to children playing on surfaces made of tire crumb that include toxics entering the lungs from particulates, fibers, volatile organic compounds, and latex.” The memo also discussed the ingestion of toxic heavy metals and dyes. “It appears that there are valid reasons to take a broader perspective of all potential risks associated with crumb rubber” through an extensive study, said the memo from Assistant Regional Administrator Stephen Tuber, quoted the Environmental News Service.

PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noted that the material is often painted in colors pleasing to children and that, “Kids roll around in this stuff, put it into their mouths, and rub it into their skin and hair,” according to the Environmental News Service. “Despite the growing concerns of its own scientists, EPA has issued no public statement of caution and still promotes tire crumbs in playgrounds,” Ruch added.

Chop Shop film Sadly, while EPA and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) have both endorsed tire crumb use for years, neither has ever looked at the adverse effects to children who are in “direct contact with tire ingredients that include arsenic, cadmium, chromium, mercury, and a number of dangerous hydrocarbons,” said the Environmental News Service, citing Ruch. “Despite these huge knowledge gaps, both agencies still endorse use of tire crumb, which is increasingly being marketed for backyard use,” he said.

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And, while the artificial turf industry has long denied its products are dangerous, tests confirm humans can absorb lead in turf. The tests conducted by New Jersey health officials found potentially hazardous lead levels on worn nylon and nylon-blend athletic fields. Use of artificial turf has grown exponentially in recent years and is seen as a way to cut costs and water use. But, lead chromate pigment is sometimes used to make the grass green and maintain its color in sunlight. It remains unclear how widely the compound is used; however, the New Jersey Health Department found lead in both of the nylon fields it tested which were AstroTurf brand surfaces.

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