Study from CalRecycle shows Crumb Rubber to have NO significant risk to human health

In a recent public statement CalRecycle stated that their extensive research has shown Crumb Rubber to have NO significant risk to human health. CalRecycle is amongst many to come forth with similar findings; A list which includes the State of Virginia, the State of Connecticut and Hematology Expert Abhinav Deol, M.D.

We have shared their study on our FieldTurf blog below or you can view the original document Here.

Concerned about turf safety? Visit our Safety page Here, for a collection of research on turf safety.


Crumb Rubber Study


CalRecycle is dedicated to reducing impacts to the environment through waste reduction, material reuse, and  responsible recycling. At the same, CalRecycle’s highest priority is, and will always be, protecting human health  and safety. Because of this, Cal Recycle has sponsored and coordinated studies and has diligently reviewed  numerous other studies (some of which are referenced at  web site) examining potential human health effects  regarding the use of recycled tires for playgrounds, infill for artificial sports fields, and other uses.


A relatively recent study, published in 2010, was coordinated by CalRecycle and executed by California’s authority  on environmental health hazards, the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). That  investigation, using rigorous scientific standards, also compiled the existing body of scientific work on the subject.  At the conclusion of the study, OEHHA did not find any significant risk to human health (either cancer or non-cancer) from  tire-derived crumb rubber used in artificial sports fields.  In particular, the large majority of air  samples collected from above artificial turf had VOC concentrations below the limit of detection. For VOCs that were detected, OEHHA conducted a screening level estimate of health risks for both chronic and acute inhalation exposure scenarios. All exposures were below health based screening levels, suggesting that adverse health effects  were unlikely to occur in persons using artificial turf. In addition, PM2.5 and associated elements (including lead and other heavy metals) were either below the level of detection or at similar concentrations above artificial turf athletic fields and upwind of the sampled fields.


CalRecycle and OEHHA continue to objectively evaluate the entirety of scientific studies and evidence on this issue, but are unaware of any new scientific studies indicating that adverse health impacts from such exposures are  likely. Accordingly, CalRecycle believes that the use of recycled tires in playgrounds or crumb rubber used as infill for artificial sports fields is appropriate. Since 2001, CalRecycle has awarded, through various grant programs, approximately $45 million to cities, counties, and school districts for playgrounds, running tracks, landscaping, infill for artificial sports fields, and other uses. CalRecycle will continue to provide funding for these projects, as well as other uses for waste tires, in an effort to divert this material from landfills in a responsible and sustainable manner, unless credible scientific evidence is obtained that would warrant a change in this policy.


At the same time, CalRecycle and OEHHA are dedicated to furthering scientific study of this issue. As a result, CalRecycle and OEHHA already are developing a new interagency agreement, with the intent of having it in place by June 30, 2015, that would start with the findings and recommendations in the 2010 OEHHA report and entail additional sampling and testing of synthetic turf fields in the state. More information about this agreement will be available in spring 2015, once a detailed scope of work and budget is finalized.



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