"GROUND UP TIRES GIVE NEW MEANING TO SYNTHETIC TURF"

  Image: Robert Deutsch

Image: Robert Deutsch

Gary Mihoces, USA Today, January 9, 2014

EXCERPTS FROM THE ARTICLE:

Environmentalists dispute an EPA study that ground up tires in turf pose no health risks.

"This issue was brought to us by EPA scientists," says Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). "They were sort of appalled with what the agency was doing.

"You've got the solid waste people saying, 'Look, if it's recycled, it's good, so we're solving an environmental problem by taking tires out of the landfill.' And the scientists are saying, 'Gee, is that a good idea? What about the people that are exposed to it?'"

The web page lists 30 compounds or materials that might be found in tires, although not all are in every tire. They are listed alphabetically, from acetone to trichloroethylene. One line the EPA dropped from the original web page: "On average the concentrations of components monitored in this study were below levels of concern."

In its request to the EPA to rescind its study, PEER wrote, "Many of these chemicals are carcinogens and can have a negative effect on humans' nervous systems, reproductive systems, dermal (skin) systems, ocular (eye) systems, or immune systems."

Says Ruch: "Up until this happened, the industry has been representing EPA as basically endorsing the product as safe. So that stamp is now withdrawn."