Urban Praises OK Of Crumb Rubber Ban

April 4, 2017

Connor Garrett of Hamden urges legislators to ban crumb rubber on playgrounds

Children’s Committee House Chair Diana Urban praised the Planning and Development Committee’s approval of legislation she introduced that would ban the future use of recycled tires known as crumb rubber on school and municipal playgrounds.

“Shredded tires contain a dozen known carcinogens and pose a serious health threat to children,” Urban told a press conference Friday before the committee approved the legislation, which now goes to the floor of the House of Representatives.

Urban said studies have shown crumb rubber contains not only 12 known carcinogens but also 20 lung irritants and is especially dangerous to children with developing organs and immature immune systems. “They sit, they roll, they eat, they drink on playgrounds,” she said.

According to testimony before the committee by Dr. Sarah Evans and Robert Wright, both with the highly respected Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center, “Children are uniquely vulnerable to harmful exposures from recycled rubber surfaces. Public playgrounds are typically utilized by children age 6 months to 12 years, a population exquisitely vulnerable to the health effects of toxic environmental exposure. Given the hazards associated with recycled tire rubber, it is our recommendation that these products never be used on surfaces where children play.”

Urban joined her legislative colleagues and children advocates for a press conference before the committee voted to call attention to the dangers of crumb rubber, but it was a 10-year-old Hamden boy’s brief speech that rang out the loudest for a ban.

“When I go to the playground, I like to run around and play on the monkey bars,” Connor Garrett said. “My little brother is 4 and he likes to play hide and seek. Sometimes he goes under the play structures. This is dangerous on recycled tires because tires are toxic and filled with carcinogenic chemicals. I don't want my friends, my little brother, or any kids to get cancer.”

Connor ended his speech, urging legislators to vote for the legislation: “Please, protect the kids in our community by banning shredded tires on our playgrounds. One day we will be in charge and we need to stay healthy to get there.”