EPA study results 6/2016 too late for kids playing in shredded tire toxins at playgrounds

My home town in Independence has a landfill that has accepted too much shredded tire material from a Port Allen firm than allowed by the EPA and now there is this law suit.

The excuse that they have found uses for the tire scrap (in children’s playgrounds) is appalling….

Here is a FB post about the hazards of waiting for the results of a June 2016 shredded rubber tire study on health effects in using this in playgrounds…..don’t wait…don’t let you kids play in that stuff…

May, 2015

“To whom it may concern,

We are parents of a first grader who currently attends the Lester Park Elementary Public School. In choosing our house two years ago, we toured the area and we were impressed by the school and playground and knew this was the right place to raise our family. We’ve been to other playgrounds in Duluth where the rubber chips are used and thought, ”what a great idea…recycling tires and keeping kids safe”. Throughout the last year and half, like many parents, we have found the chips throughout the house in every nook and cranny, laughing at how they make their way home. Slowly overtime, we’ve noticed stains on our sons clothing and the black dust on his skin, getting worse and worse. On hot days, he would come home with a headache, we would notice a chemical smell on his clothes, like at the playground, and he would blow his nose and the tissue would be charcoal grey. Windy days, the black dust is all over his face, in skin creases, anything exposed gets caked with the dust. A few weeks ago, he came home with all of the above, covered in black, complaining of a headache and a scratchy throat, in immediate need of washing. He describes the dust as “black tornados”. He also mentioned that there is water, if you dig down deep enough in the rubber. It occurred to us that we needed to know more about what this stuff is because if it’s coming out of his nose, it’s going in his lungs.

After a little research online, it didn’t take long to see that there is a nationwide controversy about the effects of rubber chips or “crumb rubber”, as it’s referred to because it is used in artificial turf as well. An article from the Huffington Post reads:
Worries are spreading among athletes, coaches, parents and teachers. One soccer coach in Seattle, sparked a national conversation with her suspicions concerning a number of current and former soccer goal keepers who have developed a rare cancer. They had all played on turf made from recycled rubber tires.

Linda Chalker Scott, associate professor of urban horticulture at Washington State University says, “on the face, the recycling material that is otherwise going to waste piles sounds good.” She is a proponent of using scrap tires for energy production and rubberized asphalt. However, she wrote in an academic fact sheet, “that grinding up old tires can put their toxic components including poly-aromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals and carbon black (the dust), in close contact with people, pets and the environment. Some of what leaches out of the rubber as it decomposes can be pretty toxic.” She also stated that the research is not solid yet one way or another and that’s the whole problem, it hasn’t been studied.

An EPA spokes woman said in a email to the Huffington post “their research on the use of the chip was very limited in scope and was intended to determine a testing method to study the tire crumb not to determine the health risk. The agency believes that more testing needs to be done. But currently the decision to use the rubber remains a local decision.”

As a concerned parent, a call was placed to the MN Department of health, the local office at (218)-302-6166 to inquire about the safety of the playground chips and if any testing had been done. They advised a study had been conducted a few years ago but couldn’t provide information on the study, so they gave contact information to a state toxicologist and a MN health and safety nurse. These two inquires didn’t provide any immediate answers, but the health and safety person advised that there is a bill on the table with the house of representatives to make funding available to do more studies on the chip/rubber crumb. She called it “bill 1601”. The link below will take you to the bill, which will not produce any study results until after June, 2016, if the bill gets passed and what research funds are available.
https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php… She couldn’t give any more information and was very brief on the line and advised that this was a small part of the bill that was slipped in there. She ended the call prematurely, without time for questions, and stated she couldn’t help anymore. What will our local decision be, wait to see if our kids get sick?

The NBC4 station broadcasted that a playground in Greenbelt, MD in 2013, closed due to concerns about toxic material. Diana Zukerman, with the cancer prevention and treatment fund stated, ”parents had good reason to be concerned about the mulch.
The mulch contains Phthalates which are chemicals that effect hormones and many other chemicals that are known to be harmful to our health”.

According to the EPA the tires used in these chips have: benzene, mercury, styrene-butadiene, polycyclic aromatic, hydrocarbons, arsenic, heavy metals, and carcinogens. (These are only a few, there are 49 chemicals in total). Studies have found the rubber can emit gases that can be inhaled when the material gets hot, it can increase the chances that volatile organic compounds, or VOCs and chemicals can “off gas” or leach in the air.

Dr.Philip Langrigan, Dean of Global Health at NY Mt. Sinai Hospital, a top expert of chemicals on children comments “children go to playgrounds almost daily that sort of cumulative exposure results in a buildup in their bodies of these toxic chemicals. This buildup of cellular damage can result in disease years or decades later. Little children should not be put in a situation where they’re forced to be in intimate contact with carcinogenic chemicals”. He refers to current studies on rubber fill as inadequate.

Susan Buchanan is the Associate Director of Great Lakes Center for Children’s Environmental Health and an assistant professor of public health at the University of Illinois, Chicago. She shared her worry about the vulnerability of young children exposed to loose rubber chip on fields and playgrounds and the lack of data.

One study that has analyzed rubber mulch, published in the scientific journal chemosphere in 2013, concluded that uses of recycled rubber tires, especially those targeting play areas and other facilities for children, should be a matter of regulatory concern.

The Wall Street Journal reported that almost all studies done on the mulch about it not leaching or having harmful effects are sponsored by the companies that process the mulch.

A Washington State University study indicates that the rubber can leach chemicals that contaminate water and have harmful effects to plant and animal life.

Aside from university studies, we found one small study from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, outlined as follows:

In June 2007, the Dept. of Analytical Chemistry at the CT Agricultural Experiment Station was contacted to examine crumb rubber produced from used tires in use on athletic fields and playgrounds. A grant of only $2,000 was given, so very limited testing was done considering the size and scope of the issue at hand. Also, time limitations were imposed.

Three questions were as read.
1. Are compounds volatilizing or out gassing from the tire crumb? Yes
2. What is the identity of the volatilized compounds derived from the tire crumb? Benzothiazole, Butylated Hydroxyanisole, n-hexade cane, and 4-(t-octyl) phenol- carbolic acid hydroxyl benzene
3. Can organic or elemental components be leached from the tire crumbs by water? Yes, the identities are Zinc, Selenium, Lead, and Cadmium

Samples were taken, measured, and weighed. When exposed to normal playground conditions, four different chemicals were found to be air born or out gassed and there were four that leached by water. Time release was an average of 30 minutes.

Reading the study was very depth and below are the definition of the chemicals that were found. Used the website bellow for more information.

1. Benzothiazole- an aromatic heterocyclic compound reacts with water, steam or acids to produce toxic and flammable vapors of hydrogen sulfide (a known cancer causing agent)

2. Butylated Hydroxyanisole. –used as a food preservative , considered safe for human consumption when used in a mounts of 0.2 amounts. Shown in tests were 13.89. Also test did not show what type was in vapor. 3 different kinds of the chemical exists, the other 2, are not approved for humans.

3. n-hexade cane – a component in crude oil or solvents considered a pollutant found in gasoline and diesel powered vehicles, rubber manufacture, shale oil production coal combustion, biomass are refuse combustion. Also found in tobacco smoke. Can cause reduction of growth in animals and cause epidermal hyperplasia. Has no human trials only tested on mice, rats, guinea pigs.

4. 4- (t-octyl) phenol- carbolic acid hydroxyl benzene- suspected of causing genetic defects, toxic if inhaled. Toxic in contact with skin, toxic if swallowed, causes skin burns and eye damage. Easily absorbed through skin. Can cause convulsions.
Inhalation Hazards are sore throat, burning sensation, cough, dizziness, headache, nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, labored breathing, and unconsciousness. Symptoms may be delayed . Loss of vision, burns, abdominal pain. Is considered acutely hazardous. Is toxic by all routes of exposure, also considered flammable. Exposure above 20 mp/cu meter when air borne. A full face respirator is required by OSHA standards. Found in the test was 5.64 per cubic meter, from a 21.63 gram sample.
(How much is on the playground in pounds?)

Conclusions from water leaching, 4 compounds were found.
1. Zinc- a metallic element in contact with water releases flammable gasses which may ignite spontaneously, very toxic to aquatic life. With long lasting effects can cause abdominal pain, nausea, or vomiting. Is a human skin irritant. An air hazard. OSHA requires breathing apparatus when handling. Clean-up when spilled, requires to put in covered containers with zero contact with water. (The pooling water under the playground is an issue)

2. Selenium- primary source is in copper refinery slimes from ore.
May cause respiratory irritation, damage to the nervous system, and gastrointestinal tract. Toxic if inhaled, toxic if swallowed. Harmful effects on aquatic life, gives off irritating or toxic fumes, causes skin to turn red, causes nose bleeds, bronchial spasms, chemical pneumonia, with exposure to clothing or skin recommendation is to remove clothing and wash skin. Get medical attention. OSHA recommendation of 10 hr exposure. (Our kids sit in there dust-covered clothes all day in class)

3. Lead- found in crude ores. Can cause abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Decomposes on heating, which will produce toxic fumes. OSHA limits exposure to 0.050 mg in a weighted average of a 10 hour period. Study found 1.85 in 7 gram sample in water. (Lead has been known to show significant neurobehavioral impairments, and signs of hyperactivity)

4. Cadmium- soft metal lumps or grey powder, turns brittle on exposure to 80 degrees. Tarnishes on exposure to moisture. Fatal dose to humans is 1 hour at any level. Found in medicated shampoo’s also used in roasting ores. Found in sludge from zinc sulfate purification, found in batteries or metal plating. May cause cancer, suspected of causing genetic defects. Fatal if inhaled, very toxic to aquatic life. Catches fire spontaneously if exposed to air. Inhalation hazard, cough, sore throat. Ingestion hazards include abdominal pain and diarrhea, headache, nausea, or vomiting. Neither odor or irritation potential serves as a adequate warming from over exposure which can result in emphysema and pulmonary edema, possibly leading to death.

The Lab data presented, supports the conclusion that at under relatively mild conditions of temperature and leaching, compounds of crumb rubber produced from tires, volatize into vapor phase and are leached into water in contact with crumbs. They noted with interest that when they placed the chips in direct sunlight at an exterior temp of 88 Degrees F, a thermometer inserted directly in the crumbs registered at 131 Degrees F.
Selection of 60 Degrees C; therefore, is not beyond a reasonable temperature range accessible under field conditions. Based on the data further studies of rubber is warranted under lab, but most especially under field conditions. In particular, examination of compounds volatilizing from crumbs under exterior conditions and collected at varying lights and seasonal conditions. At installed fields and play grounds, comparing background levels, it is also logical to determine airborne particulate matter deriving from the product under playground conditions.

fact sheet chemical make up of rubber chips

2006- M E. Anderson, K. H. Kirkland, T. L. Guidotti and C Rose ( A case study of tire crumb use of playgrounds: Analysis and communication when major clinical knowledge gaps exist

2003- Yichien S Ton, M. Lee T. Chia H, Shu, Y.Wu (Assessment of occupational health hazards in scrap-tire shredding facilities

These are a list of our concerns:

1. The black dust- “toxic dust” inhaled on windy days
2. Small children and animals put things in their mouth (Our son explained there is a “rubber chip challenge” to put as many chips in their mouth as possible)
3. Skin exposure. Rolling in it, picking it up, burying or borrowing in it. The dust soaking into pores. Staining clothing and causing long term skin exposure.
4. Vapors from the sun heating it. Inhalation.
5. Rain or standing water. Breakdown or leaching from water
6. No long term studies have been done. Are we going to let our kids be guinea pigs and hope it won’t affect them in the future?
7 School districts should be concerned with law suits now in the future. (Lawyer Ed Jazlowiecki of Connecticut called the rubber ”the next asbestos”. He is currently collecting names for a class action law suit.)

The love you have for your children is like no other love in the world and if there is even a chance of something harming your child it’s worth changing. What can we do? We’re willing to do whatever it takes to find an alternative to the rubber chips, both monetarily and physically. For the time being, we’ve asked our son to play in the field, and limit his contact with the chips. He said it’s hard to stay off the slides and such because his friends are playing there, but he does his best to keep the dust off and wash up immediately after leaving the play area. The more we read and discover, the more disturbed we’ve become. We encourage others to become better informed.

It’s not worth the risk of waiting.”


About Kim Triolo Feil

Since TX Statute 253.005 forbids drilling in heavily settled municipalities, I unsuccessfully ran for City Council Seat to try to enforce this. Since Urban Drilling, our drinking water has almost tripled for TTHM's. Before moving to Arlington in 1990, I lived in Norco’s “cancer alley”, a refinery town. It was only after Urban Drilling in Arlington did I start having health effects. After our drill site was established closest to my home, the chronic nosebleeds started. I know there are more canaries here in Arlington having reactions to our industrialized airshed (we have 55-60 padsites of gas wells). Come forward and report to me those having health issues especially if you live to the north/northwest of a drill site so I can map your health effects on this blog. My youtube account is KimFeilGood. FAIR USE NOTICE: THIS SITE MAY CONTAIN COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL THE USE OF WHICH HAS NOT ALWAYS BEEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE COPYRIGHT OWNER. MATERIAL FROM DIVERSE AND SOMETIMES TEMPORARY SOURCES IS BEING MADE AVAILABLE IN A PERMANENT UNIFIED MANNER, AS PART OF AN EFFORT TO ADVANCE UNDERSTANDING OF THE SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES ASSOCIATED WITH EMINENT DOMAIN AND THE PRIVATIZATION OF PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE (AMONG OTHER THINGS). IT IS BELIEVED THAT THIS IS A 'FAIR USE' OF THE INFORMATION AS ALLOWED UNDER SECTION 107 OF THE US COPYRIGHT LAW. IN ACCORDANCE WITH TITLE 17 USC SECTION 107, THE SITE IS MAINTAINED WITHOUT PROFIT FOR THOSE WHO ACCESS IT FOR RESEARCH AND EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES. FOR MORE INFORMATION, SEE: HTTP://WWW.LAW.CORNELL.EDU/ TO USE MATERIAL REPRODUCED ON THIS SITE FOR PURPOSES THAT GO BEYOND 'FAIR USE', PERMISSION IS REQUIRED FROM THE COPYRIGHT OWNER INDICATED WITH A NAME AND INTERNET LINK AT THE END OF EACH ITEM. (NOTE: THE TEXT OF THIS NOTICE WAS ALSO LIFTED FROM CORRIDORNEWS.BLOGSPOT.COM)
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