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Crumb Rubber Fields
It is very true that crumb rubber fields may in fact be safe. But I have made the decision as a parent to let my children play on crumb-rubber fields.
I have previously allowed my older daughter to play soccer on crumb-rubber, but she was young enough that the ball was not being kicked too high and no one was playing goalie, with the ball (and crumb rubber pieces) being kicked into their face. When she asked to play in a league, i.e., real games, I said no and told her why.
When she asked me to reconsider, I told her she could play on crumb-rubber fields if she was willing to lick the tires on my car. Well, we now have more time for rock climbing and music lessons.
I believe in science. But early scientific studies are not always correct. More importantly, we have a history of using exciting new products before we truly understand the environmental and health impacts of them, including asbestos, PCBs, phthalates, BPA, etc. I am not a believer in better living through chemistry. And yes, I do vaccinate my children.
I am aware of the benefits of crumb rubber fields, but I am simply not willing to risk my childrens' health just so we can save a little money on a playing field.
Tires contain a huge amount of dangerous chemicals. There is no way those chemicals will not end up getting accidentally inhaled or ingested by a child. It is one thing to climb on a whole tire and then wash your hands afterwards. It is another to essentially play in a ball pit of millions of ground-up pieces of them.
I would not explicitly outlaw crumb-rubber fields without more evidence that they are not safe. But I would ensure that no state funds are used to build crumb-rubber fields and I would encourage communities to consider alternatives. I would also personally implore parents to consider the risks before they make the decision to let their children play on them. Some benefits just are not worth the risk.