MN to study crumb rubber

Minnesota lawmakers are on the verge of ordering a study on potential health effects from the rubber pellets found in synthetic athletic fields.

A House environment budget bill contains $50,000 for the study on crumb rubber. That typically is composed of ground-up tires spread across the turf to add cushion.

Nationally, health concerns have been raised because of chemicals in the rubber. But there is ample debate over its toxicity and whether it can cause injury or illness.

Synthetic turf with the pellets is increasingly popping up in neighborhood parks and schools.

Minnesota’s study would review available data and focus on types of exposure, such as particle inhalation or leaching into groundwater. The goal is to complete the analysis by June 2016.