Science Inventory

Synthetic Turf Field Recycled Tire Crumb Rubber Research Under the Federal Research Action Plan: Final Report Part 1 - Tire Crumb Rubber Characterization Appendices Volume 2

Citation:

Thomas, K., E. Irvin-Barnwell, A. Guiseppi-Elie, A. Ragin-Wilson, AND J. Zambrana. Synthetic Turf Field Recycled Tire Crumb Rubber Research Under the Federal Research Action Plan: Final Report Part 1 - Tire Crumb Rubber Characterization Appendices Volume 2. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-19/051.2, 2019.

Impact/Purpose:

Recently, parents, athletes, schools, and communities have raised concerns about potential health risks from playing on synthetic turf fields containing recycled tire crumb rubber. To date, studies have not shown a consistent elevated risk from playing on these fields, but these studies have limitations and do not comprehensively evaluate human health risks from exposure to recycled tire crumb rubber. To help address concerns raised by the public, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), launched a multi-agency research effort. This effort focused on understanding potential human exposure to chemicals in recycled tire crumb rubber used in synthetic fields, which included characterizing the chemicals in recycled tire crumb rubber and identifying the ways in which people may be exposed to these chemicals based on their activities on synthetic turf fields. The information and results from these activities represent the largest study conducted in the United States to fill specific data gaps about the potential for human exposure to chemicals constituents found in recycled tire crumb rubber infill material. Overall, we anticipate that the results from this multi-agency research effort will be useful to the public and interested stakeholders for understanding the potential for human exposure to chemicals of potential interest and concern found in recycled tire crumb rubber in synthetic turf fields.

Description:

Under a Federal Action Research Plan, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (CDC/ATSDR) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in collaboration with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), launched a multi-agency research effort. This effort focused on understanding potential human exposure to chemicals in recycled tire crumb rubber used in synthetic fields, which included characterizing the chemicals in recycled tire crumb rubber and identifying the ways in which people may be exposed to these chemicals based on their activities on synthetic turf fields. Specific objectives for research conducted by EPA and CDC/ATSDR under the Federal Research Action Plan were: • Determine key knowledge gaps. • Identify and characterize chemical compounds found in tire crumb used in artificial turf fields and playgrounds. • Characterize exposures, or how people are exposed to these chemical compounds based on their activities on the fields. • Identify follow-up activities that could be conducted to provide additional insights about potential risks. As part of the tire crumb rubber characterization research, tire crumb rubber samples were collected from nine tire recycling facilities, and tire crumb rubber infill material was collected from 40 synthetic turf fields located across the United States. The fields included indoor and outdoor fields that represent a range of field types (indoor vs. outdoor), field ages, and geographic locations. Different laboratory analyses were conducted to measure the physical, chemical, and microbiological characteristics of the tire crumb rubber material. Results of these analyses provide insights into the number and types of chemicals associated with recycled tire crumb rubber, the amount of chemicals released into the air and simulated biological fluids, and the range and variability of these parameters. As part of the exposure characterization research, a pilot study to better understand the ways in which people may be exposed to chemicals associated with recycled tire crumb rubber based on their activities on synthetic turf fields was conducted. As part of the pilot study, human activity data using video and questionnaires, and personal air, surface wipe and dermal wipe samples were collected from up to 32 youth and adults participating in soccer or football practices at synthetic turf fields. Surface wipe, ambient air, and dust samples were also collected from fields. Urine and blood samples were collected from a subset of participants before and after sport activity. The analyses of these samples provided additional data for assessing inhalation exposures and new data for better understanding exposures through dermal and ingestion pathways. In general, a range of chemicals was found in recycled tire crumb rubber, including metals and organic chemicals, with potentially higher for people using indoor synthetic turf fields than outdoor fields. To date, this study is largest study conducted in the United States and will fill specific data gaps about the potential for human exposure to chemicals found in recycled tire crumb rubber used as infill material in synthetic turf fields. A report has been prepared to communicate to the public the research objectives, methods, results, and findings for the tire crumb rubber and exposure characterization research conducted as part of the Federal Action Research Plan.

URLs/Downloads:

https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2019-08/documents/synthetic_turf_field_recycled_tire_crumb_rubber_res

TURF REPORT - VOLUME 2.PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 11922.312 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PUBLISHED REPORT/REPORT)
Product Published Date: 07/25/2019
Record Last Revised: 09/12/2019
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 346618

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

NERL-OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR