Artificial Turf from Recycled Tires Releases Gases
Recycled tire crumbs found in athletic field artificial turf were recently found to release into the air significant amounts of four volatile organic compounds. So this is the kind of thing the cradle-to-cradle camp worries about. The tires were never intended to end up in artificial turf.
The study was sponsored by Environment and Human Health, Inc., a non-profit aimed at protecting people from environmental harm, and it was conducted by the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, a state government agency. The report can be found here. Though it is fairly technical, it is interesting to read about the testing procedures. For instance, the crumbs are heated to 140° F, which the authors claim is not unrealistic for them to reach while in direct sunlight on a hot day. In a test to determine whether the harmful gases leach into water, the crumbs are placed in water and agitated for 18 hours. Not being an expert, it is difficult to assess the danger. These are not field tests. Is the amount of the gases being released significant? How dangerous are these compounds? Probably the key message is that more study is warranted. And that is what CT’s attorney general Richard Blumenthal is proposing.
Update – a new study is planned, see this post.