EPA backs off recommendation on shredded tires

Shredded tires - safe for kids playgrounds or not?

EPA uncertain if shredded tires are safe for kids playgrounds

For years, the EPA has recommended using shredded tires for recreational areas like childrens playgrounds. Now they’re not so sure about the safety of doing so.

Where we are right now is, we just don´t have a recommendation,” EPA spokesman Dale Kemery said. “I wish we did.”

On June 4th, advocacy group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility released EPA internal documents raising serious health questions about children’s exposure to hazardous chemicals found in tires, as well as possible lead contamination from artificial turf, often manufactured containing shredded tires as partial components.

The EPA is nearing completion of a scoping survey meant “to find out if there is a potential human health or environmental problem with artificial turf and from rubber fields,” Kemery said. It’s unknown when the survey will be complete, however.

A spokesman for the trade group Rubber Manufacturers Association said the association believes recycled tires are safe for recreational purposes, accusing opponents of waging a “misinformation campaign.”

Meanwhile, while lobbying groups sputter and the EPA equivocates, are children at risk? The wheels of buracracy spin slowly while no precautions are being taken one way or the other. Continue reading