Photo via: Gilgongo
First lady spokeswoman, Camille Johnston, recently told press, "The mulch is going to stay," in reference to the recent allegations by the organization Environment and Human Health, Inc., warning that the tire mulch resting underneath the White House playground equipment poses a health risk to Sasha and Malia. "This is not a material that children should be playing on," explains Nancy Alderman, president of the group...The groups claims are brought on by recent findings of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, which suggest that the chemical, butylated hydroxyanisole, found in reused tire mulch, is a potential carcinogen and skin irritant. The research has been backed by spokespersons at the Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, who claim there has been an increase in skin infections from children playing on synthetic turf fields. The hospital also recognizes the possibility of the turf having carcinogenic properties if the particles were to be ingested (either purposefully or accidentally).
Rubberized artificial turf has been in use for a long time in many European countries, and so far there has been no conclusive evidence of any real danger. The Obama administration decision appears to be taking the stance that the green turf is generally safe. This is obviously the best choice, considering that any other course of action would only trigger a modest panic over the thousands of playgrounds recently having made the switch to recycled rubber, due to its claims of increased safety (flexible, splinter-free), durability, and green reusability.
Then we would have to reconsider all the other creative ideas which have been deemed an appropriate means of reusing old rubber from tires. Such products and ideas currently in production or consideration include shoes, water filters, clothing, containers , area rugs, and sidewalks. Truth be told, many things are potentially toxic or carcinogenic, so finding an absolutely perfect solution to any situation is practically impossible. The best we can hope for in most of these situations is to find a lesser of the evils, which just may be the recycled rubber... at least for now.
What is your opinion of the situation?