STC statement on EPA report regarding crumb rubber infill

The Synthetic Turf Council (STC) released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a multi-agency research report that found no significant difference in the exposure from certain chemicals found between players who played on synthetic turf fields that use crumb rubber infill and those who played on grass fields.

“”We thank the EPA for the dedication and time that went into this report and are pleased to see it reaffirms what other research has shown: synthetic turf and its system components are safe,” said Melanie Taylor, president and CEO of STC. “Our industry has long been and remains committed to safety and creating sustainable play spaces, and we are pleased to see that the largest study ever conducted on crumb rubber infill in the country demonstrates there is no elevated health exposure for playing on synthetic turf systems.”

The report also cited three independent studies that demonstrated the safety of synthetic turf fields or system components.

  • Netherlands National Institute for Health and Environment wrote that the “risk to health from playing sports on these synthetic turf fields is virtually negligible.”
  • European Chemicals Agency found “no reason to advise people against playing sports on synthetic turf containing recycled rubber granules as infill material.”
  • National Toxicology Program found there “was no evidence of toxicity in mice from ingestion of crumb rubber.”

In February 2016, the EPA, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR) and in collaboration with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), started a multi-agency research effort called the Federal Research Action Plan on the Use of Tire Crumbs in Playing Fields and Playgrounds (FRAP). In April, the agencies released the Synthetic Turf Field Recycled Tire Crumb Rubber Characterization Research Final Report: Part 2 -Tire Crumb Rubber Exposure Characterization.