Recycled tires as playground surfaces?

August 14, 2008 at 8:37 pm Leave a comment

In a previous post ( I wrote about some of the potential dangers that recycled tires posed from stored heat. Now it seems that there is evidence that this material might be emitting some pretty dangerous chemicals that the children playing on this surface might be exposed to.

From the site: (

“In the US, 290 million scrap tires are generated each year!  Reusing them in playgrounds is a good idea from a recycling viewpoint, but what about our children’s safety?  To create playground cushioning, the tires are ground up and magnets are used to remove metals; however, according to the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA), ground up tires release 49 different chemicals, including seven carcinogens. As the tire playground surfaces age and are exposed to light and heat, these chemicals, which include heavy metals, are released into little lungs.  New tire surfaces outgas VOCs for up to two years. Of course, OEHHA says the impact on a child’s health is minimal and would result in nothingmore than a stomachache. Other environmental groups disagree.”

The article referred to is here at the National Geographic’s site:

All in all a lot to think about and I think I will continue to research this and of course I will share what I find.

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Entry filed under: Design, Environment. Tags: , .

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