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Pallone on the Release of the First Volume of EPA’s Crumb Rubber Report

Jul 25, 2019
Press Release

Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) issued the following statement today after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released Volume 1 of its crumb rubber report, known as the Federal Research Action Plan (FRAP) on Recycled Tire Crumb Used on Playing Fields and Playgrounds – a multi-agency research effort which Pallone requested in 2015 – to characterize the chemicals and risks associated with crumb rubber:

“I requested this crumb rubber investigation because we know very little about this material that is used on athletic fields and playgrounds across the country. Today’s report found that crumb rubber contains a number of metals and volatile organic compounds, which is a significant first step toward assessing its safety. That said, it is entirely premature for the report to suggest that consumers’ exposure to the material’s chemical contents is low. Exposure testing, including biomonitoring, must be done to fully understand the impact these chemicals are having on those that play on crumb rubber fields. I strongly encourage EPA to complete the second phase of this report as quickly as possible so that we may take the next critical step toward assessing any potential health risks.”

Pallone led the request for this report in 2015, when he wrote to then-EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy asking that the agency research the chemical contents of crumb rubber and whether exposure to the material poses health risks. Four months later, EPA responded by announcing that it was partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as the Consumer Product Safety Commission, to formulate a multi-agency action plan to examine the safety of crumb rubber use on artificial turf fields and playgrounds.

Today’s report represents the first volume of their research into the chemical makeup of crumb rubber. The second volume, yet to be released, will assess the health risks of exposure.