The controversy around crumb rubber infill continues as a new in-depth piece in the USA Today was published today surveying the political dispute occurring between school synthetic turf sports field superintendents, environmental agencies, and consumer protection agencies.
On the one hand, the Consumer Product Safety commission is being criticized for publishing a headline in 2008 proclaiming that synthetic turf with crumb rubber infills was "OK to install, OK to play on," despite the fact that the tests they had conducted were not conclusive.
Furthermore, the Environmental Protection Agency has historically supported the use of crumb rubber infills in synthetic turf fieldsd in their effort to recycle old car tires. Due to recent political pressure, they have stated that the safety of such rubbers is not conclusive.
And on the other hand, schools are reticent to allow their turf fields to be tested for fear of negative publicity and having to pay to have their turf fields replaced, which costs more than $1 million, if the tests prove that the fields are harmful to children.
And on still another hand, the Synthetic Turf Council have touted the obvious benefits of synthetic turf, reduced maintenance costs and water savings, etc.
It seems that the debate around synthetic turf crumb rubber infill will just have to continue until conclusive tests have been completed.