Despite the EPA claim that it’s perfectly safe, a number of recent studies are concluding that unacceptably high levels of lead are leached from artificial turf, this is the kind commonly used in playgrounds. The EPA is walking back it’s claim and saying further study may be warranted.
Handwringing worrywarts, concerned about kids getting bruises and scrapes from falling down on dirt or grass, thought it would be a great idea to cover our playgrounds in recycled tires, called artificial turf.
The bits of rubber in the turf cushioned the fall of the little tykes, but as with most improvements over nature… it came at a cost. The cost being increased risks for mental retardation, damaged thyroid, allergic reactions, respiratory irritation, and cancer.
Seems the turf contains a number of heavy metals like zinc and lead. It also leeches a few nasty chemical carcinogens, but at least the kids won’t be bruising their knees. Cancer and brain damage aside, did I mention artificial turf doesn’t require mowing or watering?
Whenever we try to improve on our natural environment it seems the law of unintended consequences always catches up with us. Read more here.