Bowie, Maryland — Despite adverse publicity, all available evidence indicates that the use of crumb rubber in athletic turf or elsewhere presents no significant health or environmental risks, the Tire Industry Association (TIA) said in a new position paper.
Research conducted by TIA’s Environmental Advisory Council encompassed more than 60 technical studies; field testing conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); tests performed by state agencies in New York, Connecticut and California; and laboratory evaluations at the University of California at Berkeley, according to the document issued 26 May.
“Each of these studies validated the position that crumb rubber poses no significant health or environmental risk,” the TIA paper said.
“The EPA evaluation, which included samples from multiple locations in different parts of the country, specifically stated that “concentrations of materials in tire crumb rubber are below levels considered harmful.”
The benefits of recycled tire rubber have been clouded recently by media reports that the material may be harmful to people and the environment, TIA said in a press release.
Agencies including the EPA, the Centers for Disease Control, the Consumer Product Safety Commission and California’s CalRecycle are conducting further research into the chemical composition and health effects of crumb rubber, to determine and close key gaps in knowledge, TIA said.
“TIA and its members continue to welcome and support all additional scientific research,” the Bowie-based trade group said. “At the same time, the association reaffirms its finding that existing studies show crumb rubber used in artificial turf or as a playground surface poses no significant health or environmental risk.”