Rubber Mulch Safety Research

There are many highly detailed, comprehensive, and scientific peer reviewed articles and studies published in the USA and Europe on recycled tire material. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), and other non-governmental independent bodies have been studying this for a number of years now. Below are some of many resources available to you to read. We encourage you to check out these publications and do your own research so you can make the best informed decisions.


  EPA Rubber Mulch Recommendation

"Tires can be used in environmentally safe applications such as ground rubber, like the one used in rubber-modified asphalt and playground applications, and rubber mulch. Some 56 million tires are recycled in the US for civil engineering projects and some 16.5 million are re-treaded."




Risk assessment study of recycled ("crumb") rubber in synthetic turf fields

"Estimated non-cancer hazards and cancer risks for all the evaluated scenarios were within US EPA guidelines. In addition, cancer risk levels for users of synthetic turf field were comparable to or lower than those associated with natural soil fields."


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ECHA health risk evaluation of recycled rubber granules

"ECHA has found no reason to advise people against playing sports on synthetic turf containing recycled rubber granules as infill material..."


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Federal research action plan on recycled tire crumb

"On February 12, 2016, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), launched a multi-agency effort called the Federal Research Action Plan on Recycled Tire Crumb Used on Playing Fields and Playgrounds (FRAP)."


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Health and safety considerations for use of recycled tires for playground surfacing

Fact sheet summarizing the health, environmental and physical safety aspects of recycled tire rubber.


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Bio-Accessibility and Risk of Exposure to Metals and SVOCs in Artificial Turf Field Fill Materials and Fibers

"Concentrations of PAHs were generally below the limit of detection for all targeted compounds. The SVOCs identified based on library matches of their mass spectra were not present in toxicological databases evaluated and many are ubiquitous part of consumer products."


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Synthetic turf pitches with rubber granulate infill: are there health risks for people playing sports on such pitches?

"Based on current evidence, there is no reason to advise people against playing sports on such pitches."


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International Play Equipment Manufacturers Association

Position statement on use of rubber mulch


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A Scoping-Level Field Monitoring Study of Synthetic Turf Fields and Playgrounds

Report prepared for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Tire Crumb Committee


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CA study on recycled tires in playgrounds

"Considering all the data, it seems doubtful that recycled tire rubber in outdoor applications such as playground surfaces releases high enough levels of chemicals to cause toxicity to animals and plants living in the vicinity."


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NJ assessment on recycled tires in playgrounds

"...there was no obvious toxicological concern raised that crumb rubber in its intended outdoor use on playgrounds and playing fields would cause adverse health effects in the normal population"


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Toxicological Evaluation for the Hazard Assessment of Tire Crumb for Use in Public Playgrounds

"We conclude that the use of tire crumb in playgrounds results in minimal hazard to children and the receiving environment."


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Water quality study of tire shreds above the water table

"Tire shreds placed above the water table had a negligible impact on water quality for the near- neutral pH conditions found at the North Yarmouth field trial."


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