Friday, October 17, 2008

Artificial Turf - Crumb Rubber and Water

As part of the Coastal Marine Resource Center's Policy Program, the CMRC has published "Artifical Turf and Water Quality, The Effects of Crumb Rubber on Water Quality" now available for download on the CMRC website.


Synthetic turf recreational fields have emerged as an alternative to natural grass fields with the primary advantage being artificial turf fields are less averse to rain, snow, and heavy use. However, significant debate has arisen over the use of crumb rubber, made from ground up tires, as an infill product on synthetic turf.

The primary concern for opponents of crumb rubber is that over time the rubber leaches chemicals harmful to both human and environmental health. Furthermore, the crumb rubber pellets may create additional pollution in waterways if transported during precipitation events.

Currently, there is a growing body of evidence supporting both sides of the debate. This paper will present the arguments both for and against the use of crumb focusing on the implications for water quality.

The paper will advance certain precautions and guidelines that may be taken to safeguard against potential hazards Table 1, Recommendations for Containing and Managing Crumb Rubber.

These are recommendations to prevent the release of crumb rubber into the surrounding environment and minimize the flow of water from fields to water sources and water bodies.