Avoiding Contaminants in Tire-Derived Flooring
The benefits of recycling old tires are obvious. It saves energy. It avoids new or additional toxic manufacturing inputs. Recycling also forestalls landfilling tire waste. Tire dumps pollute groundwater and can catch fire and smolder for months or even years.
But there is a flip side to this equation that has, to date, been poorly considered: tires contain a host of toxic ingredients to which people may be exposed when this material is brought into homes, schools, gyms and offices.
This report describes the challenges of safely using crumb rubber, and suggest steps for industry to implement a reliable, and certifiable, screening process that could ensure that chemicals of concern used in tire production – or gathered by tires during their service lives -- do not resurface in the built environment.