Frequently Asked Questions

 

Recycled Rubber — Consumer Questions

Q: What is crumb rubber?
A: Crumb rubber is a recycled rubber used on turf fields and other flooring throughout the world. Crumb rubber gives turf fields greater buoyancy and flexibility and creates a playing surface that can be used and maintained for decades.

Q: What is the source of crumb rubber?
A: Crumb rubber is produced from recycled tires after a thorough process by which tire cords are removed and the rubber is transformed into a safe flooring product.

Q: Have there been any scientific studies to examine the safety of crumb rubber?
A: Yes. In fact, over the past 20 years, every study conducted has shown that the use of crumb rubber is not associated with any elevated health risks. These studies have been conducted by health and environmental agencies in California and Connecticut and at universities such as Penn State.

Q: Is there any research showing that crumb rubber may be dangerous to children?
A: No. There is not a single scientific study linking the use of crumb rubber to increased health risks for children or adults.

Q: What about questions raised by NBC’s televised report?
A: We sympathize with every individual and family mentioned in NBC’s story. However, the story highlighted health concerns that could be related to a multitude of factors both on and off the field, and are extremely unlikely to be related to the use of crumb rubber. As NBC properly noted in their report, “there is no research directly linking crumb rubber exposure to cancer.”

Q: What if my child ingests crumb rubber or it comes into contact with his or her skin?
A: While people should avoid ingesting crumb rubber, swallowing crumb rubber has not been found to pose any serious health risks. According to a 2010 study by the University of California, ingestion of a significant quantity of tire shred did not elevate a child’s risk of developing cancer. A Hoftstra University study in 2007 found similar results and reported that exposure to rubber crumb by swallowing, inhalation and skin contact posed no significant health risk.

Q: Are children and adults vulnerable to unusually high rates of toxic chemicals in synthetic turf fields?
A: Extensive research, such as a study conducted by the University of California in 2012, has concluded that synthetic turf fields result in little, if any, exposure to toxic substances. In 2008, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff evaluated various synthetic athletic fields. The evaluation concluded that young children are not at risk from exposure to lead in these fields.

Q: Even if the chemicals in crumb rubber do not affect your health significantly, aren’t they still bad to inhale?
A: Any compounds that enter the air from crumb rubber do not exceed the amount that are naturally present in the air.

Q: Can I be 100% certain that crumb rubber infill does not cause cancer?
A: There is absolutely no evidence that crumb rubber infill causes cancer, and numerous studies conducted over the past two decades point to the product’s safe use.

Recycled Rubber — Buyers and Contractors Questions

Q: How do I explain to stakeholders that turf with crumb rubber infill is safe?
A: During the past two decades, there have been numerous technical studies and reports that review the health effects of crumb rubber as it pertains to toxicities from inhalation, ingestion and dermal contact, as well as cancer. The preponderance of evidence shows no negative health effects associated with crumb rubber in synthetic turf.

Q: What about that story about crumb rubber on NBC?
A: The NBC story featured the concerns of people who are drawing parallels based purely on speculation. NBC noted in their report, “there is no research directly linking crumb rubber exposure to cancer.”

Q: Aren’t there safer alternatives to crumb rubber, such as Nike Grind, coconut fiber and cork infill?
A: A City of Richmond (British Columbia) review found no evidence that the Nike Grind material is safer than the industry standard crumb rubber. And there have been no studies to prove the safety or viability of coconut fiber or cork as infill for synthetic turf, while numerous studies have been performed regarding the safety of crumb rubber.

Q: Haven’t a lot of communities cancelled their orders for synthetic turf with crumb rubber?
A: A few communities have delayed their decision until more information regarding health risks could be determined. And many, like the City of Richmond in British Columbia, proceeded with synthetic turf as planned: “Following a staff review of the concerns raised, we are proceeding with the project as planned,” said City of Richmond spokesperson Ted Townsend. “The crumb rubber-recycled truck tire product is the present industry standard and we have not been advised of any verified health hazards from using the product.”

Rubber Mulch — Consumer Questions

Q: What is rubber mulch?
A: Rubber Mulch is a recycled rubber used in playground as a safety surface. The primary purpose of rubber mulch in playgrounds is to prevent critical brain injuries from falls as well as to reduce general injuries from falls to the play surface.

Q: What is the source of rubber mulch?
A: Rubber Mulch is produced from recycled tires that have undergone an advanced manufacturing process transforming the recycled rubber into an all-weather playground safety surface product.

Q: Have there been any scientific studies to examine the safety of recycled rubber as a surfacing?
A: Yes. In fact, over the past 20 years, every study conducted has shown that the use of recycled rubber is not associated with any elevated health risks. These studies have been conducted by health and environmental agencies in California and Connecticut and at universities such as Penn State.

Q: Is there any research showing that rubber mulch may be dangerous to children?
A: No. There is not a single scientific study linking the use of rubber mulch to increased health risks for children or adults.

Q: What if my child ingests rubber mulch or it comes into contact with his or her skin?
A: While people should avoid ingesting recycled rubber mulch, swallowing recycled rubber has not been found to pose any serious health risks. According to a 2010 study by the University of California, ingestion of a significant quantity of tire shred did not elevate a child’s risk of developing cancer. A Hoftstra University study in 2007 found similar results and reported that exposure to recycled rubber by swallowing, inhalation and skin contact posed no significant health risk.

Q: Even if the chemicals in rubber mulch do not affect your health significantly, aren’t they still bad to inhale?
A: Any compounds that enter the air from rubber mulch do not exceed the amount that are naturally present in the air.

Q: Can I be 100% certain that crumb rubber infill does not cause cancer?
A: There is no evidence that rubber mulch causes cancer, extensive studies conducted over the past two decades point to the product’s safe use.

Rubber Mulch — Buyers and Contractors Questions

Q: How do I explain to stakeholders that rubber mulch is safe?
A: During the past two decades, there have been extensive technical studies and reports that review the health effects of recycled rubber as it pertains to toxicities from inhalation, ingestion and dermal contact, as well as cancer. The preponderance of evidence shows no negative health effects associated with rubber mulch in playgrounds.

Q: What about that story about crumb rubber on NBC?
A: The NBC story featured the concerns of people who are drawing parallels based purely on speculation. NBC noted in their report, “there is no research directly linking recycled rubber exposure to cancer.”