Crumb Rubber

Crumb rubber is the infill used on top of synthetic athletic fields as a cushioning agent between the green blades of plastic "grass". Currently, it is the most widely used of the available infill's; however, use of alternative infill material is growing.   

The rubber's scientific name- Styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR), is a general-purpose synthetic rubber, produced from a copolymer of styrene and butadiene. Exceeding all other synthetic rubbers in consumption, SBR is used in great quantities in automobile and truck tires, generally as an abrasion-resistant replacement for natural rubber

Crumb rubber is the common name for the SBR recycled mixture and is made by shredding used tires from cars and trucks. The wide spread use of crumb rubber, as a cushioning agent on synthetic turf fields, began in the mid-1990’s, with a mounting scrap tire problem local and federal governments were looking for uses for tires. It was decided that grinding them up into crumb size bits and spreading them on athletic fields; or shredding tires into chunks and placing them on children’s playgrounds, was one solution to a stockpile of environmental waste. By the late 1990's, with an abundant supply of a very cheap product, crumb rubber’s use took off. Currently there are about 12,000 fields nationwide, each field containing between 20,000-40,000 old tires; and after about 8-10 years the shredded bits will still need to be disposed of, presumably in a landfill. 

OSHA's website Styrene is primarily a synthetic chemical that is used extensively in the manufacture of plastics, rubber, and resins. It is also known as vinylbenzene, ethenylbenzene, cinnamene, or phenylethylene. About 90,000 workers, including those who make boats, tubs, and showers, are potentially exposed to styrene. Health effects from exposure to styrene may involve the central nervous system and include complaints of headache, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, drowsiness, malaise, difficulty in concentrating, and a feeling of intoxication. Health effects of styrene include irritation of the skin, eyes, and the upper respiratory tract. Acute exposure may also result in gastrointestinal effects. Chronic exposure affects the central nervous system showing symptoms such as depression, headache, fatigue, weakness, and may cause minor effects on kidney function. 

Toxipedia Website: There is little information regarding the acute effects of ingesting styrene but animal studies showed that long-term ingestion of styrene can damage the liver, kidneys, brain, and lungs (#ATSDR).  


1,3-Butadiene is often referred to simply as butadiene. The health effects caused by exposure to 1,3-butadiene can be split into two categories: acute and chronic. Acute exposures can further be split into low and high doses. Acute low exposures may cause irritation to the eyes, throat, nose, and lungs. Acute high exposures may cause damage to the central nervous system or cause symptoms such as distorted blurred vision, vertigo, general tiredness, decreased blood pressure, headache, nausea, decreased pulse rate, and fainting. Chronic effects caused by exposure to 1,3-butadiene are controversial. Several human epidemiological studies have shown an increase in cardiovascular diseases and cancer. However, due to the small numbers of cancers and confounding factors such as smoking, and simultaneous exposure to benzene and styrene, a true causal relationship cannot be established. Experiments involving chronic exposures to mice and rats have shown a strong causal relationship between 1,3-butadiene exposure and cancer. Animal studies have also shown reproductive and developmental problems. Based on human and animal studies, the EPA has classified 1,3-butadiene as a known human carcinogen. The American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has given 1,3-butadiene a rating of A2, suspected human carcinogen.

Health Concerns: The tire rubber is a synthetic mix of dangerous chemicals designed to enhance the performance and wear for cars and trucks; tires were never designed to be played on by children.


  • As a recycled product, crumb rubber's use is unregulated, therefore no one is overseeing its safety.

  • The Consumer Product Safety Commission was successfully lobbied to exclude artificial turf from being classified as a children’s product- therefore the turf and its components, including the crumb rubber infill, are exempt from laws on chemicals of high concern for children.

  • 30-40 % of a tire is composed of carbon black, another toxin suspected of causing cancer. Newer tires can contain carbon nanotubes, which some scientists suspect may act similar to asbestos when inhaled into the lungs. 

  • Tire industry and tire recyclers have Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS), advising of the hazardous chemicals and warning against skin contact, eye contact and breathing of vapors. When applying crumb rubber to the field, workers are advised to wear respirators to protect from inhaling the dust. However, unlike regulated industry, there are no requirements to inform field users about the chemical content and risks, or precautionary guidelines for protection from these chemicals. 

  • Currently, Norway, Sweden, Montgomery County MD, NYC Parks and Rec,and  L.A. School District, all have bans or other limitations on the use of crumb rubber, and other communities and states are considering similar actions.

  • There is a growing list of young athletes, particularly soccer goalies, who suspect a connection between their cancer and a childhood played on crumb rubber turf. http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=14046458

 

In June 2015, a Yale University/EHHI study determined that the recycled tire mixture contains as many as 96 different chemicals- including 12 carcinogens and 20 irritants and that almost half of the chemicals identified have never had any toxicity assessments- so we do not know anything about their effects on health.

 

Testing by the Environment and Health Human, Inc. (EHHI) the following chemicals were identified in the recycled tire crumb rubber mix:

  • 1,3-Butadiene: A carcinogen. Has been linked to Leukemia and cardiovascular diseases.
  • Benzene: A carcinogen, developmental toxicant, reproductive toxicant. Can cause bone marrow failure, and has been linked to aplastic anemia and acute leukemia. Benzene is a component of products derived from coal and petroleum and is found in gasoline and other fuels. Benzene is used in the manufacture of plastics, detergents, pesticides, and other chemicals. With exposures from less than five years to more than 30 years, individuals have developed, and died from, leukemia. Long-term exposure may affect bone marrow and blood production. Short-term exposure to high levels of benzene can cause drowsiness, dizziness, unconsciousness, and death. 
    http://www.bt.cdc.gov/agent/benzene/basics/facts.asp 


There are multiple levels of exposure:

  • The chemicals are absorbed through dermal contact, skin, eyes, nose, ears, and often embedded in wounds.

  • Rubber pieces are swallowed during normal sports play.

  • Microscopic dust and VOC's are inhaled by athletes and bystanders and the dust is further spread into surrounding areas and tracked into homes.

  • Heavy metals in the chemical make-up of the crumb rubber could leach into ground water, streams, and other bodies of water.


To date, there has been no comprehensive assessment of the data collected on cancer among athletes exposed to crumb rubber. Cancer cases among athletes (mainly blood related lymphomas and leukemia) who have played on synthetic turf fields are being gathered in an ever lengthening list. As of November, 2015, there are 200 cancer cases reported, of those 158 are soccer players, with 101 being soccer goalies. It is hypothesized that goalies are presenting at a higher/earlier rate because of the nature of play and greater contact with the tires crumbs, inhaling the dust and embedded in skin through repeated diving for the ball. 

 

Many studies confirm that crumb rubber contains a long list of carcinogens, heavy metals, and phthalates (plus other endocrine distributors) as well as carbon black.

In all of the risk assessments and studies that have been published on crumb rubber, it is clear the material contains carcinogens. The question is how much children and other players are exposed via ingestion, inhalation, and dermal contact. Chemicals contained within crumb rubber include volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) and semi-volatile compounds (SVOC’s), poly-aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH’s) and metals. These include a number of known human carcinogens, asthma triggers, and endocrine disrupters.  

Crumb rubber is NOT inert and does ‘liberate’ the carcinogenic gasses used to make tires. In studies commissioned by the states of New York and Connecticut, crumb rubber off-gassed toxic chemicals such as 1-methylnaphthalene and benzothiazole in laboratory experiments designed to mimic real world conditions.  Further, in a Norwegian study of air pollution in indoor turf halls, levels of airborne particulates and toxic gasses associated with crumb rubber were examined.  Levels of these pollutants were substantially higher in turf halls that used crumb rubber than in a hall that used a thermoplastic elastomer infill.

In addition to rubber, tires contain carbon black, zinc, and aromatic process oils.  Aromatic process oils are petroleum derivatives that are high in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) including carcinogenic ones.  These oils are used to plasticize or soften the rubber.  Carbon black is a potential carcinogen and known respiratory irritant.  Exposure to airborne carbon black is associated with an increased risk of lung, cardiovascular, and neurological disease.  Zinc is toxic to aquatic life and many plants and easily leaches out of whole tires and crumb rubber polluting surface waters and potentially ground water as well. Carbon black: A carcinogen that has shown to lead to cognitive decline, dementia, ADHD, and decreased I.Q. Carbon black makes up to 30 percent of each tire. It’s allowed in manufactured products because it is usually contained in a matrix that prevents it from escaping. Shredded tires crumbs, however, prove to be an exception. 

In a study led by the Queen’s Medical Research Institute at the University of Edinburg/MRC Center for Inflammation Research in Scotland, research showed that long, needle-thin carbon nanotubes could lead to lung cancer and inhaling carbon nanotubes could be as harmful as breathing asbestos. The long, thin carbon nanotubes look and behave like asbestos fibers, which have been shown to cause mesothelioma, a deadly cancer of the membrane lining the body’s internal organs (particularly the lungs) and can take 30 to 40 years to appear following exposure. 

A 2012 study from the international journal Chemosphere identified many of the chemicals the EHHI found. The study said that many of these hazardous substances were at high or extremely high levels, and also confirmed that the particles are volatile (turn into gases) even at room temperatures. “The presence of a high number of harmful compounds in these recycled rubber materials … should be carefully controlled, and their final use should be restricted or even prohibited in some cases." 

There has been increasing evidence that raises concerns about the safety of recycled tire material used on playground surfaces. While tire rubber includes natural rubber from rubber trees, it also contains phthalates (chemicals that affect hormones, see Phthalates and Children’s Products), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other chemicals known or suspected to cause adverse health effects. PAHs, for example, are natural or human-made chemicals that are made when oil, gas, coal or garbage is burned. According to the EPA, breathing air contaminated with PAHs may increase a person’s chance of developing cancer, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) states that PAHs may increase the risk for cancer and also increase the chances of birth defects. 

Particulate Pollution:

PM 2.5, PM 10 and carbon black exposure have been linked to cardiovascular, pulmonary, and neurological disease.  Adverse outcomes including heart attacks, strokes, asthma attacks, and decreased cognitive function have been documented.  There are no studies of carbon black levels on outdoor fields.  Studies of PM 2.5 and PM 10 on outdoor fields are minimal, used only stationary monitors, and yielded ambiguous results.  The Norwegian study on indoor fields, indicated increased levels of all three pollutants on fields with crumb rubber relative to a field with another infill material and relative to average indoor level pollution levels in Oslo. 

American Lung Association: State of the Air 2015 Particle pollution refers to a mix of very tiny solid and liquid particles that are in the air we breathe. But nothing about particle pollution is simple. And it is so dangerous it can shorten your life. Size matters. Particles themselves are different sizes. Some are one-tenth the diameter of a strand of hair. Many are even tinier; some are so small they can only be seen with an electron microscope. Because of their size, you can't see the individual particles. You can only see the haze that forms when millions of particles blur the spread of sunlight. 

 

Studies using mobile monitor or personal breathing space monitors such as were used in the New Jersey Study would allow for better assessment of the risk posed by particulate pollution. 


Health Concerns:

As rubber degrades it can leach toxic substances which can contaminate soil, plants and aquatic ecosystems. Study has concluded that the use of tires in artificial turf has the potential to pollute our environment with PAHs, phenols and zinc and that runoff from an artificial turf field draining to a local creek can pose "a positive risk of toxic effects on biota in the water phase and in the sediment." Other metal contaminants found to leach from tire crumb rubber include zinc, selenium, lead and cadmium. Zinc has also been shown to leach from the artificial turf fibers. Extreme temperatures or solvents are not needed to release these metals, volatile organic compounds or semi-volatile organic compounds from the rubber in-fill of artificial turf into the air or water - release takes place in ambient air and water temperatures.

WA Dept. of Ecology’s publication “Reducing Toxic Threats” states “Much of the pollution that enters our environment comes from the small but steady release of toxic chemicals contained in everyday products. Some toxic chemicals impair development, some affect reproduction, some disrupt our body chemicals, and some cause cancer.

Recent studies conducted in Connecticut and New York have confirmed the presence of hazardous materials on existing fields. Chemical toxins identified included the metals arsenic, cadmium, chromium, cobalt, lead and zinc, the chemicals acetone, ethylbenzene, tetrachloroethene, toluene and xylene, and phthalates. High temperatures recorded at field level can significantly increase the volatility of some of these chemicals. Each of these chemicals is listed on Chemicals of High Concern for Children/Children’s Safe Product’s Act and/or is one of the 17 toxic chemicals identified in the Puget Sound Toxics Assessment’s Control of Toxic Chemicals in Puget Sound. Additionally, newer turf fields often contain flame retardants

While crumb rubber advocates claim the fields are safe, the potential health effects of exposure to these chemicals - endocrine disruption, neurological impairment and cancer - can take years to manifest themselves. Without long-term field testing, no one is in a position to say the exposure is harmless, particularly for children.

Risk Assessment Challenges:

EPA: Supplementary Guidance for Conducting Health Risk Assessment of Chemical Mixtures, 2000   

Thus far, risk assessments on crumb rubber, a complex chemical mixture, have not been done in a manner consistent with these guidelines. The guidelines define a complex mixture thus:  “A mixture containing so many components that any estimation of its toxicity based on its components’ toxicities contains too much uncertainty and error to be useful.  …. Risk assessments of complex mixtures are preferably based on toxicity and exposure data on the complete mixture...” Appendix B p.2

Since toxicity data on crumb rubber is not available, component-based methods have been used to estimate risk.  While the findings of these assessments have been reported, the reality that the data quality was too poor to justify a quantitative risk assessment has not been reported. 

The risk assessments have been based on only about half of the identified compounds contained in crumb rubber because there is no governmental toxicity testing on the other half.  The information on the other half of the chemicals is often limited.  Therefore, risk assessments have included data extrapolated from animal studies to human health effects, assumed that two related chemicals have identical toxicities, used toxicities for which there is at least 100-fold degree of uncertainty, and used oral and dermal exposure data to predict inhalation toxicity.   The risk assessments have assumed that there are no interaction effects between the dozens of chemicals which are off-gassed from crumb rubber. 

There are also problems with the exposure estimates.  Many of the measurement were taken using stationary monitors, often located away from active play.  This is problematic because players on a field constantly disturb the infill, re-suspending dust (PM 2.5, PM 10, carbon black) and potentially changing the levels of VOCs and SVOCs in the atmosphere.   There are no estimates of exposure to carbon black, a known carcinogen, on outdoor fields.  Exposure estimates to fine particulate matter on outdoor fields are extremely limited, and relied exclusively on stationary monitors.  

 

An Evaluation of Potential Exposures to Lead and Other Metals as the Result of Aerosolized Particulate Matter from Artificial Turf Playing Fields.  New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, 2011. This study examined the levels of PM 100 and respirable lead dust measured by a stationary air monitor, a mobile air monitor on a robot remotely controlled by a computer, and by a personal breathing space air monitor on a child running soccer drills.  Total inhalable particles and inhalable lead levels were lowest when measured by the stationary air monitor.  This study is important because all of the other studies on crumb rubber have used stationary monitors when measuring PM 2.5, PM 10, and carbon black.

Alternatives to Crumb Rubber:

The new products are aimed at decreasing concerns about chemical exposure and high-temperatures and providing a safer environment for play. Many of  these products have been widely used all over Europe for almost a decade, and use in the United States is increasing. Materials used include natural fibers and cork, plastic infill, a vulcanized synthetic rubber (EPDM), and recyclable (but not recycled) non-vulcanized thermoplastic elastomer (TPE). The new rubber products produced specifically for the purpose of turf field to reduce or eliminate the zinc, sulfur, carbon black, and polyromantic hydrocarbons (PAHs) found in the recycled tire products.   

  • Plant-based/organic infill- is that it is made with materials that are 100% environmentally friendly and provides a “natural” solution for synthetic turf infill. It is made with a combination of natural plant fibers, including coconut husk and cork, and are compostable at end of life.

  • Zeolite- Volcanic Material, non-toxic. Also sold in health stores for natural detox.

  • TPE is a crosslink of plastic and rubber covalently bonded and retaining the functionality of both materials - they can be molded and recycled and also have elastic properties.  The structure of TPEs is maintained without the addition of reinforcing agents and stabilizers. 

  • Nike Grind is made from recycled shoe and shoe manufacturing waste. Shoe rubber mix is proprietary, so the exact components are unknown, but it is made without many of the chemicals in tires.

  • NATURAL GRASS- Professionally designed sand-capped grass fields- organically maintained with limited use of fertilizers and pesticides.

Alternative Infill Resources:

Communities Choosing Alternatives and Showing Precaution

New York City Parks and Recreation and Los Angeles School District both decide not to use crumb rubber.

 

Montgomery County MD unanimously choose to use organic/plant based infill material.

 

Edmonds, WA- City Council unanimous vote for an 18 month ban- cites Precautionary Principle.

 

Kitsap, WA chooses organic infill for South Kitsap's new field.

Position statements from Government and Health Professionals


Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Spokesperson Liz Purchia called existing studies inadequate, and said “new science” is needed to answer questions about turf safety and that “existing studies do not comprehensively address the recently raised concerns about children’s health risks from exposures to tire crumb.” 

Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) Chairman Elliot Kay stated “safe to play on means something to parents that I do not think we intended to convey and I do not think we should have conveyed.” http://www.wsbradio.com/news/news/local/cpsc-says-they-no-longer-think-crumb-rubber-artifi/nk6MQ/

Jeff Ruch, Attorney with Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) "We (in the U.S.), for the most part, operate under the principle that your chemical is innocent until proven guilty. It goes into a stream of commerce and only if it produces a body count is there then any regulatory response."

David R. Brown: ScD (Doctor of Science) Public Health Toxicologist Director of Public Health Toxicology for Environment and Human Health, Inc.; Past Chief of Environmental Epidemiology and Occupational Health at Connecticut’s Department of Health; Past Deputy Director of The Public Health Practice Group of Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) at the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, Georgia.  His comments when asked what advice he would give parents thinking of letting their children play on turf fields: Brown was adamant “My basic advice is, don’t do it,” he replied. And what if there are no other alternatives to artificial turf fields? “If we feel the need to use [turf fields], I’d require that everyone shower and that they use only shoes that they would use on that field and that they not wear the same clothes in and around afterwards, because you want to reduce the chance that [tire crumbs] would be ingested.” In the absence of conclusive long-term studies on the known carcinogens found in some artificial turf fields, Brown believes it’s better to be safe than sorry. “If I had to make recommendations, I would never have a soccer goalie practice on the turf fields,” he said. “Play on it, but not practice on it. The very young children, I’d get them off those fields.” 

An interview with Dr. David Brown, toxicologist....I asked Dr. Brown when he thought that people would start to take notice of the cancer-related harms of artificial fields. Ten years? Fifteen?  “Five,” he said. “Five years. Because we’re putting first graders and cancerous materials together. ”He continued: “And when the cancer starts, people like myself will be sorry we didn’t argue more effectively.” 

D. Barry Boyd, MD: Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, Oncologist at Greenwich Hospital and Affiliate Member of the Yale Cancer Center.  warned that “because artificial turf playing fields are disproportionately used by children and adolescents, these childhood exposures to environmental carcinogens may add to lifelong risk of cancer.” 

Philip J. Landrigan, M.D., M.Sc., is a pediatrician and epidemiologist. He has been a member of the faculty of Mount Sinai School of Medicine since 1985 and served as Chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine since from 1995 to 2015. He was named Dean for Global Health in 2010. He served for 15 years as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer and medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)., submitted a letter to the New York City Planning Department last year expressing concerns over the carcinogens in tire crumbs. He wrote that the principal chemical components of crumb rubber are Styrene and Butadiene — Styrene is neurotoxic, and Butadiene is a proven human carcinogen that has been shown to cause leukemia and lymphoma.  “There is a potential for all of these toxins to be inhaled, absorbed through the skin and even swallowed by children who play on synthetic turf fields,” Dr. Landrigan wrote. “Only a few studies have been done to evaluate this type of exposure risk.”

“Children go to playgrounds almost daily,” said Dr. Landrigan, dean of global health at New York’s Mt. Sinai Hospital and a top expert on the effect of chemicals on children. “And gifted athletes are on the soccer filed almost every day. That sort of cumulative exposure results in a buildup in their body of these toxic chemicals, and can result in a buildup of cellular damage that’s caused by these chemicals, that can then result in disease years or decades later.”  “Little children should not be put in a situation where they’re forced to be in intimate contact with carcinogenic chemicals,” Dr. Landrigan added. 

 

References / Articles

Assessing the carcinogenic potential of low-dose exposures to chemical mixtures in the environment: the challenge ahead.  Carcinogenesis, Jan 2015, Supplement. This this paper presents evidence of physiologic mechanisms that predict/explain how chemicals that are not carcinogens when acting alone (heavy metals, endocrine disruptors, and others) can collectively work through different pathways (such as immune suppression) at different points in time to ultimately induce cancer. Note: Other articles in the supplement would also prove relevant.

Norway:Measurement of air pollution in indoor artificial turf halls. Norwegian Pollution Control Authority, 2006. Documented higher levels of carbon black, PM 2.5, and PM 10 in turf halls using crumb rubber than in the field using an alternate infill. 

Connecticut: Human Health Risk Assessment of Artificial Turf Fields Based Upon Results from Five Fields in Connecticut. State of Connecticut Dept. of Public Health, 2010.  Thirteen compounds were included in the cancer risk assessment.  Cancer unit risks were obtained from standard toxicology databases for four of those, two of those included human epidemiologic data.  Unit risk estimates for the other nine carcinogens were estimated, assumed or obtained from nonstandard sources.  

Artificial Turf Field Investigation in Connecticut Final Report. University of Connecticut Health Center, 2010.  Contains the measurements of selected VOCs and SVOCs at outdoor artificial turf and grass fields.  Both stationary and personal breathing space air monitors were used on artificial turf. 

2009 Study of Crumb Rubber Derived from Recycled Tires Final Report.  Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, 2009.   This contains a leaching study and a simulated weathering study. 

Artificial Turf Study: Leachate and Stormwater Characteristics.  Department of Environmental Protection, 2010.   Measures pollutants in the stormwater from artificial turf fields with crumb rubber infill.  Three of the eight stormwater samples contained zinc at levels known to be acutely toxic to aquatic life.


California OEHHA: Evaluation of Health Effects of Recycled Waste Tires in Playground and Track Products.  Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2007. A literature review of numerous related studies on shredded and poured in place recycled tire products.  It also contains an original study of oral toxicity based on gastric digestion simulation of tire shreds. 

Chemicals and particulates in the air above the new generation of artificial turf playing fields, and artificial turf as a risk factor for infection by methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA): Literature review and data gap identification.  Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2009This is another literature review.  It also contains a component-based health risk assessment using literature-based exposure estimates. 

Safety Study of Artificial Turf Containing Crumb Rubber Infill Made From Recycled Tires: Measurements of Chemicals and Particulates in Air, Particulates in the Turf, and Skin Abrasions Caused by Contact with the Surface.  CalRecycle.  Produced by: Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, 2010This study also examined the temperature at four artificial turf fields during the summer.  

New York: A Review of the Potential Health and Safety Risks from Synthetic Turf Fields Containing Crumb Rubber Infill.  Prepared for New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.  Prepared by TRC, Windsor, CT.  2008. This report is a review of the literature on crumb rubber and artificial turf safety.  It also provides information on the manufacture of tires and the chemicals contained in tires.

An Assessment of Chemical Leaching, Releases to Air and Temperature at Crumb-Rubber Infilled Synthetic Turf Fields.  New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Department of Health.  2009. This report involved two artificial turf fields in downtown New York City.

EPA: A Scoping Level Field-Monitoring Study of Synthetic Turf Fields and Playgrounds.  US EPA 2009. This study was readily available on the EPA’s servers during the summer of 2015, along with warnings that the results could not be generalized beyond the four sites sampled in the study.  It can still be downloaded if searched for by name.   This study examined airborne PM 10 and VOCs at four outdoor fields and one outdoor playground.   Additionally the extractable heavy metals from surface wipes, the crumb rubber and the turf blades from each location were also measured.  


State of Connecticut - Department of Public Health  - resources regarding artificial turf and crumb rubber- Artificial Turf 


Environment and Human Health Inc.- resources on studies and news regarding artificial turf and crumb rubber 


Syn-Turf is dedicated to safety of artificial turf.


Safe, Healthy Playing Fields Coalition is dedicated to sharing information about the health and safety of both natural and synthetic turf fields for children, adults and the environment. 


Crumb Rubber in the News:


  • No labels