FEDERAL News: EPA & CPSC
Board of Scientific Counselors Meeting, National Toxicology Program, U.S. Department of Health And Human Services, June 29, 2017
Video 2: Where the Rubber Meets the Road -- Update on the NTP Crumb Rubber Research Program
NBC News, February 12, 2016
"The agencies' announcement said that while 'limited studies' to date have not shown a danger, that research does not 'comprehensively evaluate the concerns about health risks from exposure to tire crumb.' "
EPA, February 12, 2016
"Concerns have been raised by the public about the safety of recycled rubber tire crumb used in synthetic turf fields and playgrounds in the United States. We know people are concerned and players and their families want answers. Limited studies have not shown an elevated health risk from playing on fields with tire crumb, but the existing studies do not comprehensively evaluate the concerns about health risks from exposure to tire crumb. We are committed to supporting more comprehensive efforts to assess risks from tire crumb.
That’s why 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."
NBC News, November 9, 2015
"Two senators have urged federal officials to lead an 'independent investigation into the health risks of crumb rubber' turf, a surface made of recycled tires used on playgrounds and athletic fields across the country."
On Friday, EPA spokesperson Liz Purchia told NBC News that the agency was "in the process of responding" to the Energy Committee's list of questions.
Purchia said "new science" is needed to answer questions about turf safety and that "existing studies do not comprehensively address the recently raised concerns about children's health risks from exposures to tire crumb."
NBC News, October 1, 2015
"Despite a series of NBC News reports on the growing debate about the safety of crumb rubber artificial turf, the federal agencies that regulate the product have remained largely silent."
May 18, 2015
By conducting an inadequate study that does not find safety issues one can't conclude the studied product is safe. One can only conclude the product is not properly tested via a very limited study. The 60+ reports touted on the synturf industry website all have this in common.
The STC and their industry members are -- and have been for some time -- defensive. We get it. Now with their current business model at stake they are mounting a PR offensive, but we would like to remind them that on the other side of this issue -- children’s lives are at stake.
WSB Atlanta, April 29, 2015
" 'Chairman Elliot Kaye has deep concerns with the (2008) press release and it is not the agency’s current position,' Scott Wolfson, the Communications Director for the Consumer Product Safety Commission, told Channel 2’s Rachel Stockman. 'What was done in 2008 was not good enough to make a claim either way as to the safety of those fields.' "
PEER, April 28, 2015
"The principal information the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission uses to assess the health effects of synthetic turf is supplied by industry lobbyists, according to internal records released today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)."
San Francisco Chronicle, February 21, 2015
"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."
NBC News, October 9, 2014
"Rep. Frank Pallone (D.-N.J.) sent a letter to the acting director of the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry asking for an official study on what effects exposure to the chemicals in crumb rubber turf fields might have on athletes."
NBC News, 2014
Watch: the 6 min investigative report by NBC News' Hannah Rappleye, Stephanie Gosk and Brian Williams that asks how safe synthetic turf is on children's playing surfaces.
USA Today, January 9, 2014
"Environmentalists dispute the EPA study that ground up tires in turf pose no health risks, noting in part that '...the industry has been representing EPA as basically endorsing the [synthetic turf] product as safe. So that stamp is now withdrawn.' "
EHHI, January 9, 2014
Nancy Alderman of EHHI (Environment and Human Health, Inc.) wrote to Megan Maguire, Office of Research and Development, US EPA RRB 41261 (firstname.lastname@example.org) about the EPA's shocking response to the issue of ground-up rubber tires being placed in toddlers' playgrounds. EHHI "feels it is very important that it continue to pursue the issue of toxic ground-up rubber tires being placed in toddlers' playgrounds. It must stop." Read the letter here.
The Huffington Post, December 23, 2013
"In a November 2009 study and an accompanying press release and webpage, the EPA stated there was only a 'low level of concern' about potential health risks posed by toxic chemicals in tire crumb. But earlier this year, the watchdog group Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility accused the agency of downplaying potential health concerns and asked it to rescind the findings. The EPA study involved only a few sites, PEER said in its complaint, making it 'inaccurate, incomplete, and unreliable.'
While the agency did not retract the 2009 study, the website now emphasizes its 'very limited nature,' and states that it “is not possible to extend the results beyond the four study sites or to reach any more comprehensive conclusions without the consideration of additional data.” The newer website also emphasizes the need for 'future studies,' and lists a number of hazardous chemicals that could be present in tire crumb — including arsenic, benzene, mercury and lead."
PEER, Mar 21, 2013
Federal 'safe to play' endorsements for artificial turf are based on flawed and limited science and should be withdrawn, according to legal challenges filed today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). Federal agencies have given blanket safety assurances for parents, athletes and schools despite a growing body of evidence documenting chemical exposure and other risks from synthetic turf.
"The EPA study took air and surface samples from three athletic fields and from one playground. The testing was so limited, an EPA representative said, that the agency was 'not in a position to draw any conclusions on a national basis.'”