Three US agencies have released a research protocol for evaluating the safety of recycled tire crumb rubber, used in synthetic turf fields and playgrounds.
The protocol was released by the U.S. EPA and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) / Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in collaboration with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). It follows a joint action plan, announced by the agencies earlier this year, to evaluate exposure to chemicals released by the recycled infill material.
The participating agencies intend to release, before the end of 2016, a draft status report summarizing its progress on the following focus areas:
identifying substances of concern in recycled tire crumb;
assessing exposure to potential harmful substances;
conducting an initial evaluation of the cancer and non-cancer toxicity of these substances;
and planning follow-up activities to provide additional insights into possible risks.
The government’s investigation comes amid consumer concern over exposure to heavy metals, carbon black, benzothiazole, and other substances of potential concern that have been found in the material.
The European Commission called on ECHA to evaluate similar risks earlier this summer. California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) has been studying possible chemical exposures from crumb rubber, since last year.