The Truth Behind the Alleged Link Between Cancer and Crumb-Rubber Infill – Part 1

For those who may be unaware, there continues to be an ongoing debate about negative health effects supposedly caused by artificial turf landscaping. Some research has been performed resulting in many articles that have filled the internet representing a variety of viewpoints. Some of this content that can be found online cites research and makes educated (yet sometimes biased) conclusions whereas other articles on this subject are obviously clickbait and have no ground in facts whatsoever. At Precision Landscape, we certainly want to make sure that we are aware of any controversial issues pertaining to materials that we use or work that we perform. Skipping to the end for a moment, we’re confident that the majority of claims that suggest there is are major health issues pertaining to the use of artificial turf landscaping are lacking in sufficient evidence to make such a conclusive statement. However, it is clear that more research needs to be done on the matter to ensure that eventually all concerns are laid to rest. This article and some that will follow will explain, breakdown, and clarify this controversial crumb-fill issue.

So, as mentioned above, there is an alleged link between the crumb-filled rubber used as an infill during the manufacturing and installation of artificial turf landscaping and cancer. This particular type of infill is most commonly used with artificial turf installed on large athletic fields but is still sometimes used in residential synthetic turf installations. Now, we all know that there is a seemingly perpetual stream of news releases declaring cancer has been linked to this and that, many of which turn out to be negligible or even false altogether. This certainly doesn’t mean, however, that studies showing links between cancer and common materials should be tossed aside. Independent research, industry business research, and government research has been and is being done on this particular issue for a few years now and rightly so. Shortly before the end of his tenure as President, Barack Obama and his administration initiated a study at the federal level on this artificial turf landscaping issue. This question is being taken very seriously.

Much of the controversy surrounding this artificial turf landscaping matter has to do with the fact that virtually every study that’s been done on the alleged cancer-crumb rubber infill connection has been disputed by the synthetic turf industry. It should also be noted that there are many natural grass advocates who support the use of real and organic material for residential property and athletic fields and condemn synthetic materials. So in order to get to the bottom of it, we have to discover how this topic started in the first place, are the claims that denounce artificial turf landscaping factual, does the government need to get involved, and how this issue – true or not – affects the industry of synthetic turf.

Let’s start by understanding exactly what crumb-rubber infill is and how it is used in artificial turf landscaping. Ground-up scrap tires from trucks and cars are recycled and result in two different variations: cryogenic and ambient. In sports, this is far-and-away the most commonly used type of infill for artificial turf landscaping. By the end of 2016, there were almost 12,000 athletic fields and parks that incorporated artificial turf landscaping. But the controversy started when a group of environmental and health advocates became suspicious of the potentially carcinogenic properties of crumb-rubber infill. The EPA released information stating that arsenic, mercury, and benzene were sometimes found in tires. The properties of tires, by the way, cannot be generalized because different tire manufactures go through different processes that involve different ingredients, in addition to the fact that in the recycling process, everything is obviously blending together which creates endless varieties of components.

This piece will continue with the artificial turf landscaping article The Truth Behind the Alleged Link Between Cancer and Crumb-Rubber Infill – Part 2.

artificial turf landscaping

The Truth Behind the Alleged Link Between Cancer and Crumb-Rubber Infill – Part 1

Artificial Turf Landscaping

Article by Clear Content Marketing