No Adverse Human, Ecological Health Effects
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WASHINGTON, D.C., December 10, 2009 – A study released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency found no cause for human health or environmental concerns with the use of tire rubber used in construction of athletic fields and playgrounds.
While the EPA study was limited in its scope, it adds to a growing list of scientific data showing that ground rubber from waste tires does not pose any adverse health or ecological risks.
“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 tire rubber in consumer applications such as playground and athletic fields are not only safe by have several significant safety benefits.”
Last year, RMA sponsored a review of available literature on the potential health and environmental effects of tire rubber, which is produced from scrap tires.
The RMA-sponsored report evaluated the health and ecological risks associated with the use of recycled tire rubber in consumer applications, particularly playgrounds and athletic fields. A thorough review of available literature was conducted including studies from both advocates and opponents to the use of recycled tire materials. An examination of the weight of evidence across all of the available studies was conducted to enable a comprehensive assessment of potential risk.
The use of recycled tire rubber is widely used as an infill material for synthetic sports fields and as a floor cover for playgrounds. Both applications take advantage of the exceptional cushioning characteristics of tire rubber and provide increased safety relative to other materials. Athletic fields and playground cover are two of the fastest growing and largest end uses for recycled ground tire rubber. Approximately 13 million scrap tires are used in these applications annually.
“Although EPA stated that hope 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 tire rubber are environmentally sound,” Blumenthal said.
RMA’s report, Review of the Human Health & Ecological Safety of Exposure to Recycled Tire Rubber found at Playgrounds and Synthetic Turf Fields, is available for download at www.rma.org. Click here to review the report (updated 2013).
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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products.