Melody Gutierrez, San Francisco Chronicle, February 21, 2015
EXCERPTS FROM THE ARTICLE:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has terminated its longtime campaign to promote the use of recycled tires on artificial turf fields and playgrounds, amid growing concern from critics in California and elsewhere who fear the material poses a health risk to people.
Environmental groups and health advocates say the EPA failed to thoroughly study the health effects of the so-called “crumb rubber” because the agency was vested in promoting recycling of the material as a solution to the nation’s growing stockpile of scrap tires. They fear the crumb rubber infill, used in artificial fields since the 1990s, has contributed to cancer cases in 126 soccer, field hockey and football players across the nation.
“The studies that have been done are narrow and mostly funded by the industry or waste bureaus trying to get rid of tires,” said Brown, who is the past chief of environmental epidemiology at Connecticut’s Department of Public Health.
“The objective work that needs to be done hasn’t been done,” Brown said. “I see it as a governmental failure across the board that really we should try to learn from. We should ask the question, 'Who was responsible for determining the safety of these things?’”
This article gives an accurate depiction of the role of the EPA in the proliferation of artificial turf across the country, putting the interests of industry above the health and safety of the people it purports to serve.