The Playground Professionals Magazine recently featured an in-depth article on the the history of recycled tire-derived rubber and its application in playgrounds, athletic tracks, tennis courts, and more.

Tires first began to be recycled and used in playground surfacing in the 1960s, when Berleburger Schaumstoffewerke devised a way to turn them into gym floors, running tracks, and playground tiles. Their success led other companies to begin innovating and for the past 40 years, recycled tires have been an integral part of safety surfacing in playgrounds and sports facilities around the world.

That could change in the future. Recent stories in the news question whether recycled tires could pose a health risk to the children who use playgrounds. Some sports organizations are discussing whether surfacing made from crumb rubber should be banned.

The article published by Playground Professionals continues by providing an overview of the safety studies that have been conducted on surfacing materials made from tire rubber. “During the entire history of the use of tire rubber the question of potential harm and injury has been part of the conversation, spurring multiple studies,” readers are told.

Read the entire article at the Playground Professionals website to learn what research has been done already and where you can find the studies. It’s a great starting point to learn more about the issue if your municipality needs more information to address this concern.