The Yale University Study On The Harmful Effects Of Recycled Rubber Crumb In Artificial Turf


In recent years, the use of artificial turf in sports fields and playgrounds has become increasingly popular due to its durability, low maintenance, and all-weather usability.  However, concerns have been raised about the potential health risks associated with the use of recycled rubber crumb, which is offen used as infill material in these synthetic surfaces.  This essay explores the findings of a Yale University study that sheds light on the harmful effects of using recycled rubber crumb from tires in artificial turf.


Artificial turf is composed of synthetic fibers and infill materials, with recycled rubber crumb being a common choice for infill due to its shock-absorbing properties.  The rubber crumb is obtained from recycled tires, providing a sustainable solution for disposing of used rubber.  However, questions about the safety of this material have arisen, prompting scientific investigations to assess potential risks.

The Yale University Study:

Yale University conducted a comprehensive study to evaluate the potential health hazards associated with the use of recycled rubber crumb in artificial turf.  The research aimed to address concerns about exposure to toxic substances present in the rubber crumb, which includes heavy metals, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and other chemical compounds.


Chemical Exposure: The study revealed that recycled rubber crumb contains various chemical compounds that can be released into the air or leach into the environment.  Some of these chemicals, such as benzothiazole and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA), are known to have adverse health effects, including respiratory and skin irritation.

Heavy Metals: Elevated levels of heavy metals, including lead, zinc, and cadmium, were found in some samples of recycled rubber crumb.  Prolonged exposure to these metals poses health risks, especially to children who play on artificial turf surfaces.

Health Implications:

The findings of the Yale University study raise significant concerns about the potential health implications of using recycled rubber crumb in artificial turf.  Prolonged exposure to the identified chemical compounds and heavy metals may result in respiratory issues, skin irritation, and long-term health effects.


While artificial turf provides practical solutions for various outdoor spaces, it is crucial to consider the potential health risks associated with the use of recycled rubber crumb.  The Yale University study underscores the need for continued research and regulatory measures to ensure the safety of artificial turf infill materials.  As the debate surrounding the use of recycled rubber crumb continues, it is essential to prioritize the health and well-being of individuals, particularly those who frequent synthetic turf surfaces, and explore alternative, safer infill materials for a sustainable and healthy future.