Congress Asks EPA if Rubber Turf Is Safe for Children - NBC Chicago

Congress Asks EPA if Rubber Turf Is Safe for Children

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    Congress Asks EPA if Rubber Turf Is Safe for Children
    File--AP
    Tiny bits of ground up tires used as filler between blades of artificial grass are displayed on a field made of synthetic turf at a playfield in a north Seattle neighborhood. Some health experts, activists and parents are worried that children may be exposed to chemicals by inhaling or swallowing the rubber granules.

    Washington lawmakers are asking the Environmental Protection Agency to weigh in on whether crumb rubber used in artificial turf fields in thousands of schools, parks and stadiums is safe for young athletes — citing a series of stories by NBC News.

    "These stories and others raise questions among athletes and parents that crumb rubber on artificial turf athletic fields may present a pathway to exposure to one or more carcinogens," the House Committee on Energy and Commerce wrote in a letter to the EPA on Friday. 

    The bipartisan panel gave the agency until Nov. 6 to answer 10 questions about what tests have been done to determine whether turf made from recycled tires poses a health risk and what investigators have found.

    "Are you aware of any studies about carcinogens present in field sports generally?" one question asks. "Do data indicate that risk is greater for female athletes than for male athletes, for soccer players than for lacrosse, field hockey, or football players, and for one position in soccer more than for others?"