Thank you for your much needed article on shredded tires. Your article is correct in that toxic chemicals in tires is undisputed.
But it’s far worse, parents would be very surprised if they saw how their children come back from recess with black tar on their hands, legs, arms and sometimes smeared across their faces. There is no handwashing, as recommended, after playing on the playground and before eating.
We know that these chemicals cause cancer but suppliers of shredded tire products say it doesn’t leech out of the shreds and refer to studies that were done on solid rubber composite surfaces, not on shreds. This argument doesn’t make sense when we see the children covered in black tar.
Also, Mark Bollinger claims that the shreds are necessary for playgrounds with platforms over 10 feet high. This is simply not true, a few blocks from the Lake Harriet school is the new playground at the Lake Harriet Bandshell. Well over 10 feet and filled with non-toxic sand and played on by many small children.
If we know that the tires contain carcinogenic compounds and we know that kids are covered in tar from the tires after playing at recess, then common sense would tell us that those compounds are leeching out and the children are absorbing them through their skin and while eating.
Mark Bollinger can say all he wants about the safety of shredded tires but we’re not buying it. We may never know where a specific case of cancer or leukemia comes from but we know enough to say that that we don’t want to take that risk with our children.