Ban Tire Crumb Rubber from Turf at San Diego Unified School District Schools
*Our children, students, athletes, and environment deserve safe, non toxic fields.
* Tire Crumb Rubber infill contains many known carcinogens and heavy metals.
*Non-toxic/organic infill is available from the turf co. our district is using and its use is growing nationwide.
*Natural turf, or even dirt, don't hurt.
San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) is installing tire crumb rubber fields at many schools ( a lot of them elementary) over the next few years, A couple dozen schools are lined up to get these fields this year, and some already have them.
Crumb rubber, or tire crumb, is finely ground up (into ant size or even sand size pieces) car and truck tires. Tires contain heavy metals, known carcinogens, and other toxic substances.
There can be up to 40,000 ground up tires sprinkled loosely on one field. Our young children ages 5-10, their small developing bodies being the most vulnerable to chemical exposures, will be rolling in these fields, eating their snacks on these fields, making mountains out of these tire pellets on these fields, dropping their water bottles onto these fields, and tracking these tire pieces into our classrooms, cars, homes, and laundry machines. Our older children will be playing sports on these fields; diving to catch a ball, doing a tackle, or sliding into third base.
There is a high probability that our children could ingest these tiny sand size pieces, or get them in a wound or their eyes, as well as breathing the chemicals released into the air from the surface, which can reach temperatures of up to 140 degrees on a 90 degree day. As parents of children playing on these fields, we deserve to know, IS IT SAFE?
As of now, NOBODY can tell us it is safe for our children to be exposed to tire crumb.
There has been a cancer correlation, called a cancer ‘cluster’ by toxicologists, between soccer goalie players (whom are most prone to dermal contact and ingesting crumb rubber) that have played on crumb rubber fields and blood cancers.
Given mounting concerns about recycled rubber surfaces, several governmental agencies have recently modified their stance on the safety of crumb rubber. On February 12, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency, Centers for Disease Control, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission unveiled an ‘Action Plan’, appointed by our federal government, with the aim of addressing data gaps, characterizing crumb rubber constituents, and assessing exposure pathways. The first draft of this study will be out by the end of 2016. According to the EPA announcement of this collaborative effort, “existing studies do not comprehensively evaluate the concerns about health risks from exposure to tire crumb.” The same conclusion was reached by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment and it is addressing the risks from chemical exposures resulting from ingesting crumb rubber from artificial turf and their study will be done in June 2018.
With the lack of federal scientific studies to show a product safe, our district is installing these fields at a fast pace with no notice to parents or students, nor warning signs posted at the fields for proper cleaning after play or the restriction of food and drinks. There are labor laws protecting the installers of these fields, informing them to wear respirators, safety goggles, and gloves, but there is nothing to warn of any dangers to our children.
There are alternative infills to use vs. tire crumb rubber. These options would also be more environmentally sound, which is especially important for a school district that is close to many water sources. The turf company installing our fields has these options available. They are non- toxic and organic, using cork, coconut and rice husk. There is also the other option of going back to natural turf.
We want our children to have turf and longer playing hours outdoors, but most of all we want to be sure it is safe. Let's not let our children be the canaries in the coal mine on this one! Let's educate ourselves and others, and advocate for the health and safety of our children. Our children deserve better!
Please sign the petition (your email will not be used for any other purpose) to let our district know that you do not want them installing any more tire crumb rubber fields in SDUSD. You can also talk to your principal about what field is planned to go in at your child's school and share concerns with them. You can also contact Board of Education by email or sign up for a three minute public testimony.
Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.
Follow updates here: facebook.com/keepturfsafe
We, the citizens of San Diego and parents of SDUSD students, call on the San Diego Unified School District to put a ban on tire crumb rubber artificial turf.
We also ask that the fields that currently have tire crumb rubber fields have warning signs posted for proper after play cleaning and restriction of food/drinks, and that parents are informed of the type of playing field their children are playing on.
The Ban Tire Crumb Rubber from Turf at San Diego Unified School District Schools petition to San Diego Residents was written by Keep Turf Safe and is in the category Health at GoPetition.