BRUSSELS—The tire industry is failing to address public concerns over the safety of end-of-life tire materials, an industry expert warned at the European Tyre Recycling Association's annual conference in Brussels.
The March 16-18 meeting took place amid moves by individual states in the European Union, including Germany, and the U.S. to ban scrap-tire rubber granulate from synthetic turf and other playing surfaces. These application areas represent around half of the market for scrap tire rubber.
The bans, which are linked to health concerns, are being driven by single-issue lobby groups, according to MarShay Inc. President Michael Blumenthal, MarShay is a U.S. consultancy serving the scrap tire industry.
“The arguments are always the same, and they are always flawed,” he said during a panel discussion at the ETRA annual meeting. “They often make a lot of mistakes and use bad science. If there is a perception that something is wrong and that perception goes unchallenged, it becomes reality. And that is what we are seeing now in the industry.”
And while there is a lot of good scientific information available to counter these claims, Blumenthal warned: “This is not being relayed to the media: there is no one coordinating this and the efforts that we have seen have been very poorly undertaken by industry. This issue is not going to go away, it is going to get worse.”