Keep Playgrounds Free of Toxic Recycled Tire Mulch
We can't throw tires away in landfills because of all the toxic chemicals they contain so why is it okay to grind them up, call it recycled rubber mulch and use them on children's playgrounds? Recycled tire rubber contains numerous toxic chemicals including styrene, a chemical that is neurotoxic and a likely human carcinogen, butadiene-a proven human carcinogen linked to leukemia and lymphoma and lead and cadmium which are also neurotoxic.
Though industry leaders say this material is perfectly safe, no studies have thoroughly addressed children's exposure and we all know young children are uniquely vulnerable. Young children play on the ground, have frequent hand to mouth behavior and have higher respiratory rates than adults increasing the likelihood of inhalation exposure. Their brains and nervous systems are in a very rapid phase of development making their risk of harm from exposure to neurotoxic chemicals much higher than that of adults. And on hot summer days, recycled tire rubber often gets much hotter than other surfaces and poses risks of dehydration and heat exhaustion for children as they are not able to regulate body temperature as well as adults.
If we can't put these tires in a landfill, why take the risk of exposing young children to highly toxic chemicals particularly when other alternatives exist?
Clean Water Action and the Coalition for a Safe and Healthy CT are working hard to pass a bill this legislative session that would ban the installation of recycled rubber tire mulch in school and municipal playgrounds where young children play.