Recycled Rubber Industry Groups Comment on EPA Report

WASHINGTON D.C. ( [DATE], 2019) – The Synthetic Turf Council (STC), the world’s largest organization representing the synthetic turf industry, and the Safe Fields Alliance (SFA), a coalition dedicated to educating stakeholders around the safety of synthetic turf fields and recycled rubber, today issued the following statement regarding the publication of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) draft report summarizing the Tire Crumb Rubber Characterization Study portion of the Federal Research Action Plan on artificial turf:

“The summary report of the Tire Crumb Rubber Characterization Study released today by EPA unfortunately does not provide further clarity on recycled rubber beyond what was released in previous EPA reports from 2008 and 2009. Today’s findings paint an incomplete picture of recycled rubber, describing only chemical composition, and lack the context and guidance that is so important for parents around the country.

Our confidence in the safety of recycled rubber continues to be backed by more than 110 scientific studies from academics and government bodies including a Washington State Department of Health report, Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment study, European Chemicals Agency report, Cal Ripken Foundation report, Sports Medicine study, Environmental Research study, and a Cancer Epidemiology study. These studies have all found no cause for concern about any health effects from playing on artificial turf surfaces with recycled rubber.

The product the public knows as recycled crumb rubber is the same rubber – with the same chemical compounds – that makes up the tires we drive on. There are no extra ingredients added when these tires are recycled and used as infill for synthetic turf fields and playgrounds. So, if there are concerns, they would start where the rubber meets the road – but that clearly isn’t the case.

The benefits of using recycled rubber are many. In addition to recycled tires providing a shock absorption layer to make healthy activities safer, recycled rubber is durable and easy to maintain. It also promotes accessibility by allowing fields to be used throughout the year, and in climates less hospitable for natural surfaces.

Today, more than three years into what was billed as a one-year study, the Tire Crumb Rubber Characterization portion of the federal government’s research does little except highlight the need to better understand if there are actually any exposure risks.

We call on the federal government to settle remaining knowledge gaps by completing the exposure characterization of its research as expeditiously as possible to settle uncertainty surrounding recycled rubber once and for all.”

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About the Synthetic Turf Council

The Synthetic Turf Council (STC) is the world’s largest organization representing the synthetic turf industry, representing over 200 companies with operations in 9 countries. Founded in 2003, the STC assists buyers and end users with the selection, use and maintenance of synthetic turf systems in sports field, golf, municipal parks, airports, landscape and residential applications. It is a resource for current, credible, and independent research on the safety and environmental impact of synthetic turf, as well as technical guidance on the selection, installation, maintenance, and environmentally responsible disposal of synthetic turf. Membership includes builders, landscape architects, testing labs, maintenance providers, manufacturers, suppliers, installation contractors, infill material suppliers and other specialty service companies. For more information, visit www.syntheticturfcouncil.org..

About the Safe Fields Alliance

The Safe Fields Alliance (SFA) is a coalition dedicated to educating stakeholders around the safety of synthetic turf fields and recycled rubber, including that based on an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence, there is no link between turf and recycled rubber and health issues. Three of the leading North American manufacturers of synthetic turf fields, working alongside several leading recycled rubber manufacturers, came together to help alleviate concerns related to this issue. For more information, please visit www.safefieldsalliance.com.

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