WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Council of State Governments has approved a resolution noting that scientific evidence should be paramount when assessing recycled rubber play surfaces.
The document, "Resolution on Utilizing Science-Based Evidence Related to the issue of Installation of Artificial Turf Athletic Fields Made of Recycled Rubber Infill," calls for science to take precedence over conjecture in assessing recycled rubber, and for the timely completion of the federal multi-agency study that is under way, according to the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries.
The resolution was presented to the CSG's Energy & Environment Committee by Minnesota State Sen. Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, in the context of recent debate surrounding the use of recycled rubber — especially given unsubstantiated reports regarding health concerns.
It was approved unanimously by the committee and endorsed by executive committee of the council, a region-based forum serving all three branches of state government.
"As a parent and a legislator, creating a safe environment for our children to play in is a top priority," Miller said in a statement released by ISRI.
"Recycling tires cleans up and preserves the environment for current and future generations. As we encourage children to take part in healthy activities and exercise more, the material from these recycled tires is a source for safe, accessible turf. Credible science has demonstrated this time and time again.
"It is imperative that fellow state and local lawmakers carefully review the facts when making any key decisions regarding our children and jumping to conclusions not supported by science," he added.
ISRI President Robin Wiener said his group "strongly supports and applauds the passage of this resolution, which will undoubtedly raise awareness among state legislators around the unsubstantiated nature of current claims made in the debate over recycled rubber.
"There are currently more than 90 peer-reviewed scientific studies demonstrating there is no increased health risk to athletes playing on artificial turf containing recycled rubber, without credible evidence to the contrary, and it is critical that this reality be made widely known to policymakers."