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Facts About Recycled Rubber
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Facts About Recycled Rubber

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Recycled rubber is used as infill for synthetic turf fields and playground surfaces.

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STC Catalog of Available Recycled Rubber Research

In early 2015, in response to increased public interest in the potential health effects of synthetic turf sports fields with crumb rubber (or recycled rubber) infill, the Synthetic Turf Council (STC) began compiling a list of credible, scientific-based, third-party reports and studies and making them readily accessible to the public. The list includes more than 110 technical studies and reports that have examined 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. The majority of the studies were conducted by independent academic, federal and state government organizations, and involved chemical engineers, toxicologists, epidemiologists, chemists, biologists and other medical professionals. They estimated whether toxins are present at any level of concern, whether the human body can access them, and if exposure over time increases risk. All have unequivocally failed to find any link between synthetic turf and cancer, and all have concluded that synthetic turf with crumb rubber infill does not pose a human health risk to people of all ages. At the same time, STC voluntarily added ASTM’s F3188-16 to our industry guidelines for infill, the ASTM toy standard for heavy metals.

Leading Experts Say Recycled Rubber is Safe

Michael Peterson

Board-Certified Toxicologist

“There really is no reason for concern related to exposures to chemicals in these fields. The simple presence of a chemical in a product does not mean there is some inherent risk associated with that. As far as I know, in the scientific, peer-reviewed literature, there are no studies that have shown that turf is not safe.”

- Michael Peterson is a Board-Certified Toxicologist at Gradient, an environmental and risk sciences consulting firm, and an STC Affiliate Member.

Archie Bleyer, MD

Clinical Research Professor in Radiation Medicine

“… we naturally have a need to find something to blame but it's not the crumb rubber or anything else in synthetic turf that caused the cancers. On the contrary, physical activity should be encouraged and promoted by year round, weather-resistant fields to help prevent cancer and other chronic diseases. Limiting field development could in the long run actually increase cancer incidence.”

- Dr. Archie Bleyer is Clinical Research Professor in Radiation Medicine at the Oregon Health and Science University, and founding member of the Critical Mass Young Adult Cancer Alliance and founder of DEFEATcancer. Dr. Bleyer chaired the Children’s Cancer Group for 10 years, then the world's largest pediatric cancer research organization, the Department and Division of Pediatrics at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Community Oncology in the Department and Division of Medicine at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Learn More About the Benefits and Safety of Recycled Rubber

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

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