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Recycled Rubber Infill Resources

STC Catalog of Available Recycled Rubber Research

Background & Summary

In early 2015, in response to increased public interest in the potential health effects of synthetic turf sports fields with recycled rubber infill, the Synthetic Turf Council began compiling a list of available studies and making them more readily accessible to the public.

Since 1990, STC has identified more than 90 technical studies and reports that have delved into various health and human safety questions relating to the use of recycled rubber as an aftermarket product, including its use as infill in synthetic turf sports fields. These studies have involved chemical engineers, toxicologists, epidemiologists, chemists, biologists and other medical professionals. They have estimated whether toxins are present at any level of concern, whether the human body can access them, and if exposure over time increases risk. The majority of the studies were conducted independently by academic institutions and government agencies.

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Government Organization Websites Related to the Use of Tire Crumb on Fields and Playgrounds »

Research & Test Data

US EPA Releases First Part of Crumb Rubber Report

Synthetic Turf Council, July 25, 2019

Highlights of the report:

  • This research represents the largest and most robust study of synthetic turf fields and tire crumb rubber to date in the United States.
  • Findings from this study support the premise that while many chemicals are present in the recycled tire crumb rubber, exposure may be limited based on what is released into air or biological fluids.
  • The presence of a substance does not directly equate with human exposure. While there are many chemicals associated with recycled tire crumb rubber, [the EPA] laboratory experiments suggest that the amount of chemicals available for exposure through release into the air and simulated biological fluids is relatively low.
  • Emissions of many organic chemicals into air were typically found to be below detection limits or test chamber background, and releases of metals into simulated biological fluids were very low (mean bioaccessibility values averaged about 3% in gastric fluid and less than 1% in saliva and sweat plus sebum).
  • In general, concentrations [of measured metal and extractable semivolatile organic compounds (SVOC)] in this study were consistent with, and within the range of, concentrations found in previous studies.
  • While there is concern about chemical exposures resulting from the use of recycled tire and other materials in synthetic fields, it is important to recognize that some of the chemicals are likely to be present in other types of fields, including natural grass fields. For example, metals (including lead) and PAHs (including benzo[a]pyrene) of potential concern at synthetic turf fields with tire crumb rubber infill are also often found in surface soil in the U.S. and may be present at natural grass playing fields.
  • This report is not a risk assessment.

Comprehensive multipathway risk assessment of chemicals associated with recycled ("crumb") rubber in synthetic turf fields

Michael K.Peterson, et al., November 2017


Background: Thousands of synthetic turf fields in the US are regularly used by millions of individuals (particularly children and adolescents). Although many safety assessments have concluded that there are low or negligible risks related to exposure to chemicals found in the recycled rubber used to make these fields, concerns remain about the safety of this product. Existing studies of recycled rubber's potential health risks have limitations such as small sample sizes and limited evaluation of relevant exposure pathways and scenarios.

Objective: Conduct a comprehensive multipathway human health risk assessment (HHRA) of exposure to chemicals found in recycled rubber.

Synthetic Turf and Crumb Rubber: Investigation of Reported Cancer among Soccer Players in Washington State

January 2017

The primary objectives of the investigation were to: Determine whether the number of cancer diagnoses among the soccer players reported to the project team was higher than would be expected if rates of cancer among these soccer players were similar to rates among all Washington residents of the same ages. Describe individuals reported to the project team in terms of their demographics, factors related to cancer and history of playing soccer and other sports.

Playing Sports on Synthetic Turf Fields with Rubber Granulate is Safe

Publication date: December 20, 2016
Modification date: January 31, 2017

New research by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) shows it is safe for people to play sports on synthetic turf fields with an infill of rubber granulate. Rubber granulate contains numerous substances which were found to be released from the granulate in very low quantities. This is because the substances are more or less ‘enclosed’ in the granulate, which means that the effect of these substances on human health is virtually negligible.

Information Sheet: Recycled Rubber Cancer Cases

Gradient, October 2016

The Concern: Amy Griffin, associate head coach for the University of Washington women's soccer team, "has been informally tracking American soccer players with cancer since 2009" (1). She has identified 220 cases to date, 166 of them soccer players. The two most frequent cancer diagnoses are lymphoma and leukemia. The diagnoses date back to 1994, with the ages 5-24 specifically mentioned (2). The concern is that exposure to chemicals in recycled rubber has caused the identified cancer cases.

View More Independent Research »

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Additional Resources on Crumb Rubber

ISRI is a Washington, DC-based trade association representing more than 1,600 for-profit companies – ranging from small, family-owned businesses to large, multi-national corporations -- operating at more than 3,500 facilities in the United States and 34 countries worldwide.

(click image to download pdf file):



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Learn More About the Benefits and Safety of Recycled Rubber

The Recycled Rubber Council (RRC) has a mission to communicate, advocate, and educate about the safety and beneficial uses of recycled rubber. The organization was created to serve as a resource for those that want unbiased information about recycled rubber and to be a voice for an industry that provides products that are all around us and make our world a better place. Rubber has been an integral part of our lives for nearly 200 years and without it, the world as we know it would be a dramatically different place.

If you have questions or want to learn more about the environmental and health impacts of recycled rubber, visit

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