Is Rubber Playground Mulch Really A Concern?
It seems like all the new playgrounds have rubber mulch, is it just soft padding or could it be much worse?
This isn't the first time concerns about the mulch have been raised, but Duluth parents are concerned once again. There are chemicals in the rubber mulch that parents don't agree with and suggest it gets replaced with wood fiber.
According to a test done by Legend Technical Services in St. Paul, there are 12 chemicals listed by the Minnesota Department of Health as 'chemicals of high concern' in the mulch. The low-levels of chemicals in the mulch isn't a concern, but the long exposure to the chemicals are.
If mulch was replaced with wood fiber, it would cost around $110,000 of for reconstructing the playgrounds. The district would also need to lower the drainage system under each playground and lower the cement footings holding the playground equipment posts in place. If they were replaced without lowering the drainage system, the slides and swings would be too close to the ground to meet standards.
As of right now there are unknown factors in using rubber mulch. It is weird that kids are getting black dust on them from the mulch, but if there are no side effects apparent, is there actually a problem. I grew up with wood chips and sand, I would get splinters all the time, but parents were cool with it back then, I'm not condoning the rubber mulch, but unless there is substantial reasoning on why it should be removed, I feel like the money can be used else where in the city.
You can read the full article here and let me know what you think in the comments below. I have two kids now, so there is a concern. I'm just afraid parents are being too paranoid about it.