Are crumb rubber fields safe on a hot, sunny day?
After reading the letter from a scientific adviser to the recycled rubber council stating that crumb rubber is safe, I asked myself two questions. 1.) Where did his data come from? 2.) Who signs his paycheck? The latter of the two told me exactly why he wrote his letter. Now I’ll give you reasons to question if he’s right or wrong.
Having a child who plays soccer on various types of fields – synthetic and natural surfaces – I can assure one thing: An outdoor artificial turf field on a hot, sunny day gets much hotter than a natural turf field does. This is because the recycled rubber is black and attracts the sun more than old mother earth. So has the scientific adviser done air-quality testing on such a day? Because watching a game in the middle of summer, you can see the rise of heat being generated from the field. I have wondered what the air quality actually is.
I’m not saying the fields are not safe either, because in an indoor facility this does not happen. I just question their safety outdoors on hot, sunny days. Until further testing over a period of time is done and the health issues of players are examined, I urge all parents whose children play sports on these fields to use caution.
James J. Trzaska