EPA Study Shows No Harm from Crumb Rubber in Fields
A limited field study by the US Environmental Protection Agency found no cause for human health or environmental concerns with the use of tyre rubber in athletic fields and playgrounds, reports Tire Review. The EPA said it will use the information to determine possible next steps to address questions regarding the safety of tyre crumb fill in the fields. The limited field study was conducted between August and October 2008.
“Today’s report by EPA is not a surprise,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president. “Many studies and tests have shown over many years that the use of recycled tyre rubber in consumer applications such as playground and athletic fields are not only safe by have several significant safety benefits.”
“The limited data EPA collected during this study, which do not point to a concern, represent an important addition to the information gathered by various government agencies,” said Peter Grevatt, director of EPA’s Office of Children’s Health Protection. “The study will help set the stage for a meeting this spring, where EPA will bring together officials from states and federal agencies to evaluate the existing body of science on this topic and determine what additional steps should be taken to ensure the safety of kids who play on these surfaces.”
The use of recycled tyre rubber is widely used as an infill material for synthetic sports fields and as a floor cover for playgrounds, RMA said. Both applications are two of the fastest growing and largest end uses for recycled ground tyre rubber, accounting for 13 million scrap tyres.
“Although EPA stated that it hopes to conduct further review of available scientific literature, we remain confident that any additional research will show that playgrounds and athletic fields and other consumer products made from tyre rubber are environmentally sound,” Blumenthal said.