Artificial Turf: Summary of Original Research

The Original Research on Tire Crumbs and Rubber Mulch that Led to EHHI's Study

The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station study conclusively demonstrated that the tire crumbs and tire mulch release chemical compounds into the air and ground water. Tire crumbs constitute a chemical exposure for humans and the environment. The release of airborne chemicals and dust is well established. The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station research conclusively demonstrated that release can occur under ambient conditions experienced in the summer in Connecticut.

It is clear that the recycled rubber crumbs are not inert, nor is a high-temperature or severe solvent extraction needed to release metals, volatile organic compounds, or semi-volatile organic compounds.

Those published health assessments that indicate de minimis risk should not be applied to the synthetic turf paradigm and may not be appropriate for playgrounds with open layers of recycled tire crumbs.

Health endpoints of concern are numerous, including acute irritation of the lungs, skin, and eyes, and chronic irritation of the lung, skin, and eyes. Knowledge is somewhat limited about the effects of semi-volatile chemicals on the kidney, endocrine system, nervous system, cardio vascular system, immune system, developmental effects and the potential to induce cancers.

There are still data gaps that need to be filled in and additional studies are warranted.

It is prudent to conclude that there will be human exposures to chemicals released during the use of synthetic turf fields.

The excess amount of zinc in the rubber tire mulch makes it unacceptable to be used in gardens.