Resolution on Utilizing Science-Based Evidence Related to the Issue of Installation of Artificial Turf Athletic Fields Made of Recycled Rubber Infill

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WHEREAS, states have a recognized need to employ processes and tools that use evidence to inform policy and budget decisions across the areas examined; and

WHEREAS, relying on a combination of stakeholder education, a strong data infrastructure, and scientific-based analytical peer-reviewed resources can help leaders achieve better outcomes for their communities; and

WHEREAS, reviewing the best available evidence on a policy matter prior to pursuing legislative or regulatory action will help better inform policymakers on the most sound course of action; and

WHEREAS, many state and local government policymakers are deciding how best to address issues relating to the safety of artificial turf athletic fields containing recycled crumb rubber infill for which they need guidance including scientific research and facts to inform their decision-making; and

WHEREAS, alarming reports have been advanced asserting a connection between crumb rubber infill and cases of cancer in young athletes, and local debates have simmered on whether or not children’s health has been placed as risk; and

WHEREAS, there is no settled, peer-reviewed scientific data that shows recycled crumb rubber infill used in artificial turf fields poses any significant environmental or health risks to athletes; and

WHEREAS, crumb rubber infill within artificial turf fields reduces injury risk for athletes; and

WHEREAS, crumb rubber infill serves as a needed shock absorption layer in more than 12,000 artificial turf fields in the United States, as well as many playgrounds; and

WHEREAS, recycling rubber tires for crumb rubber infill means that millions of tires are no longer disposed of in landfills, or left along roads, in waterways, or other sensitive habitats, and tire recycling can save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and

WHEREAS, millions of used tires are recycled each year in the United States, contributing to increased employment and other economic activity; and

WHEREAS, review of science-based evidence is a critical component of the policy debate related to the environmental and safety implications surrounding artificial turf athletic fields.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that The Council of State Governments (CSG) requests the United States Environmental Protection Agency place priority on a timely completion of the federal study that includes risk characterization to better understand the actual risks; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that CSG requests that Congress and the Executive Branch work with state and local governments to facilitate a better understanding of the benefits and risks from crumb rubber infill material; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Administrator of the U.S. EPA, Acting Director of the Federal Consumer Product Safety Administration, and other federal, state and local government officials and associations as appropriate.

Adopted by The Council of State Governments’ Executive Committee this 16th Day of December, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.