ERJ staff report (DS)
North Haven, Connecticut -- A US-based lobby/research group has issued a document saying artificial turf is not safe. Environment and Human Health, Inc.,(EHHI) based in New Haven released the report last August. The report, titled, Exposures to Recycled Tire Crumbs used on Synthetic Turf Fields, Playgrounds and as Gardening Mulch is described as, "an exploratory study with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station to examine whether the rubber tire "crumbs" out-gassed harmful chemicals into the air or were capable of leaching into ground water."
The research was paid for by EHHI and carried out by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station's chemical laboratory. The study shows that volatile organic compounds are out-gassing from the rubber pellets and that this out-gassing increases as the temperature rises.
The report identified four VOCs: benzothiazole; butylated hydroxyanisole; n-hexadecane; and 4-(t-octyl) phenol.
David Brown, Sc.D., EHHI's public health toxicologist, said, "It is clear the recycled rubber crumbs are not inert, nor is a high temperature or severe solvent extraction needed to release metals, volatile organic compounds or semi-volatile organic compounds. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station study conclusively demonstrates that the tire crumbs and tire mulch release chemical compounds into the air and ground water. Thus, tire crumbs constitute a chemical exposure for humans and the environment."
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EHHI page on artificial turf (Full text of report can be downloaded from here)