If you go to a playground today, chances are you’ll see rubber mulch covering the ground. However, most people don’t know much about their local play place ground cover. What is it, what are the different kinds, what are the dangers, and what is a safe solution for your children?
What is rubber mulch?
Since it’s illegal to throw used tires in landfills, auto companies needed to figure out what to do with all of their leftovers. Starting in the 1980’s companies began shredding old tires and putting them out on playgrounds. Today, the practice continues. This has lead to the proliferation of cheap rubber tire mulch.
Different kinds of rubber mulch
There are three different types of rubber mulch on the market right now.
The first is the most basic and follows the same business model as the old rubber mulch companies. All they do is shred the tires and sell the pieces as are. This is called rubber tire mulch.
Second-tier tire crumb manufacturers start their product the same way. They chop up old tires, and then add a protective coating. This is to prevent the black color from rubbing off onto children’s clothing and skin. This type of crumb rubber you might see on a sports field. A good breakdown from the Children’s Environmental Health Network indicates why people might have some reservations about hopping on and playing a game on such.
The final manufacturer makes virgin, non-tire rubber mulch. That’s us, Jelly Bean Rubber Mulch. The only non-toxic, non-tire virgin rubber mulch out there.
Dangers of rubber tire mulch
Mulch derived from tires is dangerous, even with a protective coating. Stories have come out about dangerously high levels of lead on school playgrounds, but most are never tested.
Some of the toxins in rubber tire crumb include VOC’s, PAH’s, MBT’s, and latex. The EPA has found these chemicals cause cancer, headaches, nausea, contact dermatitis, and allergies. Not to mention damage to the lungs, kidneys, liver, central nervous system, and reproductive system.
Read the new July 2019 EPA report on tire crumb rubber on synthetic turf fields here.
Even though second tier manufacturers add a coating, it fades over the years. This will happen before your rubber tire mulch starts disintegrating, and why you’ll have to replace this kind of mulch sooner than the other two types.
What’s the safe solution?
Jelly Bean Rubber mulch is not made out of tires, so you’re already one step ahead in terms of safety. Chemicals or leftover wire won’t hurt your children. There is also no coating added, and the all-natural colors of our mulch won’t fade. So what is it made from, and is it any safer than tires?
Jelly Bean mulch is made from shredded pieces of 100% non-tire, wire-free, lead-free, non-toxic playground safety tiles. Before any shredding happens, quality control tests avoid variable toxicity and ensure all federal and state safety requirements are met. Every piece of rubber used in the final product is non-toxic, resulting in a safe surface for your children and peace of mind for you.
If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There will always be a human to answer the phone and assist you with personalized customer service.