Surely you have seen a playground with a shredded tire surface. It makes sense because it seems like wouldn’t it be better to bounce of the surface if you fall instead of smacking your knees on the pavement? But according to a Chicago Tribune blog some parents are beginning to worry if the surface is safe.
There is little data surrounding the fact if the tire surfaces are really safe to children if they are continually exposed to it. There has been worry from the United States Environmental Protection Agency that it could be harmful to their health. Although the agency at this time says that they are safe.
The problem is that there are few studies out there about the safety and health of these surfaces over long periods of time. It seems like a great way to recycle tires, but not if in the long run it could be harmful.
Here is a quote from the blog by Julie Deardoff:
“One of the few studies to assess the health effects of tire crumb found the chemicals could be toxic to aquatic organisms such as fish, though the effects decreased over time. With regard to children, reused tires posed minimal hazard, noted the 2003 study. The National Program for Playground Safety says it will recommend tire crumb until it receives guidance from the EPA. But not everyone wants to wait for the results of the EPA’s field-monitoring studies, which have been criticized for being too limited.”
So what do you think? Are tire playground surfaces unsafe?