Ban Recycled Tire Crumb “In-Fill” On Turf Fields At Fieldstone Middle School

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The Mayor and Council of Montvale have authorized the purchase and replacement of the synthetic turf at Fieldstone Middle School.  Over the past several years, concerns have been raised regarding the risks of recycled tire crumb-rubber used on synthetic turf fields.  Despite these concerns, the scheduled replacement currently calls for the use of recycled/synthetic crumb rubber.

Why the concern? 

Crumb rubber “in-fill”, which is made from recycled rubber tires, has been found to have known carcinogens and heavy metals.  Environment and Human Health, Inc., a nonprofit organization of physicians and public health professionals, released its study done at Yale University (the “Yale Study”), showing the following carcinogens in crumb rubber infill:

  • Benzothiazole: skin and eye irritation, harmful if swallowed.
  • Butylated hydroxyanisole: recognized carcinogen, suspected endocrine toxicant, gastrointestinal toxicant, immunotoxicant, neurotoxicant, skin and sense-organ toxicant.
  • n-hexadecane: severe irritant based on human and animal studies.
  • 4-(t-octyl) phenol: corrosive and destructive to mucous membranes.

The Yale Study also detected metals that were leached from the tire crumbs, including: zinc, selenium, lead and cadmium.  

Given these concerns, the Children’s Environmental Health Center of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has stated, “given the hazards associated with recycled tire rubber, it is our recommendation that these products never be used as surfaces where children play.” 

In November 2015, ESPN E:60 aired a program on crumb rubber. The program included Amy Griffin, a soccer coach at the University of Washington, who has been collecting cancer data on athletes who have played on crumb rubber. Griffin’s list is now at 187 cancer cases, with 150 of those being soccer players and 95 being goalies.  Although there are questions regarding the causal connection, why not err on the side of caution?

On February 12, 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) launched a multi-agency Federal Research Action Plan on Recycled Tire Crumb Used on Playing Fields and Playgrounds to study key environmental and human health questions.

As stated by Congressman Frank Pallone, “[i]n the absence of definitive information on crumb rubber, our children cannot be the guinea pigs.” 

There are alternative materials to crumb rubber such as natural cork and/or ground fibers from the outside shell of the coconut.

What Can You Do?

Petition the Montvale Town Council to ban the use of recycled tire crumb rubber by:

1.      Signing the petition, and

2.      Writing the Montvale Council at: 

3.     Attending the next Mayor & Council Meeting on June 27, 2017 (7:30 pm) 

Sincerely,

Anthony & Annette Vozzolo

 OTHER SOURCES:

http://www.ehhi.org/turf_report07.pdf 

http://www.ewg.org/enviroblog/2016/02/federal-agencies-investigate-safety-crumb-rubber-playgrounds

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/congressman-cites-nbc-report-calling-study-synthetic-turf-n222431

http://www.nbcnews.com/watch/nightly-news/how-safe-is-the-artificial-turf-on-your-childs-sports-field-339230787933

http://energycommerce.house.gov/sites/republicans.energycommerce.house.gov/files/letters/20151023EPA.pdf

http://www.mountsinai.org/static_files/MSMC/Files/Patient%20Care/Children/Childrens%20Environmental%20Health%20Center/turf_fact_sheet.pdf

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cancer-artificial-turf-crumb-rubber_us_570960a3e4b0142232493441

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/city-yields-ground-crumb-rubber-turf-wars-article-1.389543



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